Baglietto Bzero: Baglietto’s sustainable commitment presented in La Spezia

Baglietto, a historic shipyard based in La Spezia, presented yesterday during a conference titled ” Bzero Working for an evolving future” the progress the shipyard is making in the area of new sustainable energies for the naval,e sector in a world that is constantly moving and changing very fast.

Bzero, the first B in Baglietto’s value system (joining the 8Bs: Bold, Boutique, Balance, Borderless, Brave, Background, Brilliant, Beauty), perhaps the most important, in fact marks the shipyard’s strong and decisive commitment to achieving zero emissions.

Giancarlo Orsini opened the meeting, which was attended by top city and military authorities, national and international press, as well as students from the Nautical Institute and undergraduates from the Nautical Engineering degree program in La Spezia. An expert in innovation and technology , for more than 30 years a leading figure in the field of education Orsini provided an in-depth look at what are the “megatrends,” the scenarios of change in which society is moving and why being aware of them is essential to seize the opportunities.

The Bzero (B RAISED TO ZERO) project, which was previewed in Monte Carlo last year and involves the use of green hydrogen as an energy source, now sees the realization of the prototype of the system that will then be installed, in an optimized way, on Baglietto boats over 50m. The prototype will be used to develop operating procedures, optimize technical aspects and obtain the appropriate naval certifications necessary to be able to use the system on board the yachts and recharge hydrogen in the tanks independently or from an external source (making up for the lack of infrastructure on the one hand and speeding up refueling times on the other). In addition, the power station fits into a virtuous system by also going some way toward contributing to the shipyard’s power generation cycle.

“The Bzero project,” comments Diego Michele Deprati, Baglietto CEO, “confirms Baglietto’s pioneering vision and its strong involvement for an increasingly sustainable and green boating industry and to be an active and proactive part of the inevitable process of energy transformation. The BZero Power Station presented yesterday,” Deprati continued, “is our promise fulfilled. For almost 170 years, Baglietto has been synonymous with the avant-garde, technological innovation and progress, and for this reason we have committed to go further and make our contribution towards our sea and the environment and towards a theme, that of a boating industry that is finally sustainable and truly green, which is essential for us today.

In 1874 Jules Verne wrote, “Water will one day be a fuel. The hydrogen and oxygen of which it is composed, used in isolation, will offer an inexhaustible source of heat and light.” Today is the time. At Baglietto,” Deprati continues, “we have set up a department expressly dedicated to the study of new eco-sustainable technologies, ‘Baglietto Energy,’ to study the implementation of alternative energy sources to be applied to boating. The BZERO Project is a first important starting point, but also the door to the great challenge of the future, a challenge of knowledge, made of a great sense of responsibility, humility, ambition and determination, and respect for the sea. Elements of which every Baglietto is made.”

Great are the commercial potential of the system as well, as Fabio Ermetto, Baglietto Commercial Director, points out: “The BZero project is an important journey into the knowledge of the future. With this technology on board, in fact, it will be possible to assume zero emissions up to 75h at anchor and a navigation that can reach 120 nautical miles at 7 knots. The combined use of hydrogen and batteries, in fact, will allow the obtainment of available energy 4 times higher than the use of current batteries with undoubted economic advantage for shipowners as well.”

“The project, whose primary objective is to increase the boat’s electric cruising range in zero-emission mode,” adds Alessandro Balzi director of the shipyard’s Energy Department, “envisages the integration on board Baglietto boats of hydrogen fuel cell technology on a hybrid or diesel-electric platform. The particular storage system,” Balzi continues, “allows hydrogen, which is voluminous by nature, to be trapped in metal hydrides, thus enabling storage in a solid, safe and low-pressure form.”

Along with Baglietto, the project leader, six partners of international relevance are participating, all with design and development teams based in Italy: ARCO TECHNOLOGIES, BLUENERGY REVOLUTION, ENAPTER, H2BOAT and SIEMENS ENERGY in addition to RINA as the certifying body in all project phases.

In addition to RINA, the main partner, AutroItalia, Methydor, Precision Fluid Control and Tempco also contributed to the event as technical sponsors.

THE BZero SYSTEM.

The BZero system involves the implementation of a hydrogen production module that starting from filtered and deionized seawater produces hydrogen with purity grade 5.0 at a maximum pressure of 35 bar thanks to a system of AEM-type electrolyzers (for a total power of approx. 55 kW). The electrolyzers are powered primarily by energy from renewable sources (photovoltaic panels) and/or the shore power grid in order to produce as much “green” hydrogen as possible.

The hydrogen produced is stored in solid form at low pressure (35 bar compatible with storage) and room temperature inside metal hydride cylinders (MH storage). The process of storing and releasing the hydrogen from the hydrides is managed by a “thermal management” system to heat (during hydrogen discharge) and cool (during recharge) the metal hydrides.

The required thermal energy is derived from the heat produced by the PEM-type Fuel Cell module (approx. 200kW), which uses hydrogen as fuel to produce electricity with zero pollutant and noise emissions. The current produced is controlled via a DC/DC converter on a central 700V DC bus of the type already tested on yachts equipped with hybrid technology at the Baglietto shipyard. Connected on the same bus in parallel to the Fuel Cell is a set of lithium-ion batteries with the task of absorbing peaks and abrupt load changes in user-side energy demand.

(Baglietto Bzero: Baglietto’s sustainable commitment presented in La Spezia – barchemagazine.com – April 2023)