The unusual Feadship Aeon concept is in perfect harmony with the environment, taking ethical consumption to a new level. For the first time we see a yacht that is powered exclusively by alternative power sources.
Shipyard Feadship could rest easy on her laurels, taking pride in her rich past and making good money on the present, but instead prefers to bet on tomorrow. Since 2005, the company has been working on a "concept for the future" - an ideal megayacht whose time has not yet come. This is the first time the concept has seen the light of day at the Monaco Yacht Show. Taking into account the requirements of today's customers and the most current market trends, the design team tried to imagine what tomorrow's customers will expect from premium yachts. The result is the Aeon project, which combines stunning ergonomics with detailed design and Feadship quality. The transparent deck and the use of environmentally friendly energy sources meet the idea of being one with the environment.
«A huge number of owners of our yachts have a vision for the future, and our knowledge of these vision allows us to anticipate their expectations»," explains Feadship Marketing Director Francis Vermeer. «Looking ahead has been a source of inspiration to De Voogt's designers, designers and creatives at our De Vries and Royal Van Lent yards. The Aeon name itself seems to emphasise that the direction we have chosen today is one that will last».
A potential Feadship buyer is an inquisitive, adventurous person who will want to use a yacht to explore more deeply the vast expanses of our planet. Observation is the quintessence of Aeon. The transparent deck, which stretches from the highest point to the waterline, dominates the boat. It is home to an underwater research laboratory. Decks are connected by a glass elevator. Naturally, the Feadship owner will not give up comfort. The boat is spacious, large enough - length 76, width 12 meters - and luxurious. The area reserved for the boat owner is interestingly designed: a private terrace aft on the upper deck and an apartment on the main deck below. The Aeon exterior, with its sharpened lines, follows the elegant silhouette of the whale. This symbolic implication constantly reminds us of the treasures we risk losing if we damage the aquatic environment.
The key to Aeon's project is to reduce its impact on the environment. Various innovations are used to achieve these goals: Aeon uses «green» fuel - a combination of bio-diesel and solar energy. The electricity needed to drive is generated by a generator running on fuel from natural gas or biomass and algae. Algae convert solar energy into chemical energy, creating lipids by photosynthesis, which can be easily converted into diesel. One of the advantages of the synthetic fuel obtained in this way is the absence of sulfur dioxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This technology has already attracted the interest of oil companies such as Shell, as well as KLM airlines, and is being studied by the Association for the Study of Algae Biomass. It is a new platform for developing biofuel and bio-energy technologies.
A special unit, the Reformer, converts biodiesel into hydrogen. This means that there will be no need to store huge amounts of hydrogen cells, which are also not quite safe. The very technology of using hydrogen as a fuel is already well researched and continuously improved. The Reformer generates carbon anhydride, water and heat, which are then also used in the bioreactor. There, coal anhydride and solar energy are used to grow algae. Heat and waste water from the reformer are also used for energy production. This multi-circuit system aims to produce energy as efficiently and safely as possible for the environment.
The reformer and the combustion cells supply enough energy to achieve a cruising speed of 18 knots, and using additional batteries, Aeon can accelerate to 25 knots and go at that speed for an hour. The complete absence of dark tones on external surfaces and other technical subtleties can reduce the energy consumption associated with climate control by more than 40%. The construction and subsequent disposal of the yacht is one of the most important elements of the puzzle, from which a responsible attitude towards the environment is formed. This is why Aeon's development has paid special attention to optimizing all construction processes, material consumption and recycling of already used construction elements.
Published in YACHTS magazine #32.