Bill Gates splurges on $644 million hydrogen fuel-powered superyacht

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 10, 2020 Published on February 10, 2020

Bill Gates   -  Kamal Narang

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the first to commission a hydrogen-fuelled powered ‘superyacht,’ according to media reports.

The second richest man in the world pledged $644 million (₹4,600 crore) to purchase Hydrogen fuel cell-based Aqua, Daily Mail reported on Sunday. The yacht has been designed by Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design and Lateral Naval Architects superyacht design and construction and was unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2019.

What distinguishes the luxury liner from other yachts is its eco-friendly fuel structure. The yacht runs on two 1MW motors fuelled by supercooled hydrogen tanks. Liquefied hydrogen stored in vacuum isolated tanks at an extremely low temperature is converted into electrical energy by Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells to power the yacht. The only by-product of the process is water, according to a Forbes report.

The vessel, however, will also have a diesel engine for back-up, Engadget reported. Its top speed is said to be 17-knots (19.6MPH) and hs a range of 3,750 nautical miles.

The ‘superyacht’ is 370-feet tall. The extravagant vessel has five decks and can house 14 guests and 31 crew members.

Upping the ante, the yacht is equipped with luxuries including a gym, yoga studio, beauty room, massage parlour and cascading pool on its rear deck according to the Engadget report.

The new vessel is not expected to be ready to take to the open seas until 2024 according to Daily Mail.

Gates’ splurging on the eco-friendly luxury vessel is in line with Microsoft’s policies. The tech giant in January had announced its moonshot bet to become completely carbon negative by 2030 in a public statement. It had also detailed its action plan in an official statement published on the Microsoft website.

Published on February 10, 2020

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