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ZHA unveils world’s first green hydrogen refuelling stations for Italian marinas

Italy Architecture News - Feb 12, 2024 - 07:07   1422 views

ZHA unveils world’s first green hydrogen refuelling stations for Italian marinas

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled design for 100 refuelling stations for recreational boats to be installed in Italian marinas. 

The €100 million project, developed by NatPower H - part of the NatPower group, will be built as a green hydrogen infrastructure in 25 Italian marinas and ports.

The green hydrogen infrastructure, set to be installed in the summer of 2024, targets 100 refuelling stations throughout the Mediterranean over the next six years. As Zaha Hadid Architects explained, the project also aims to expand to the world’s most popular regions for recreational boating.

Green hydrogen is produced with wind, solar and other renewable energy infrastructure. ZHA said that "green hydrogen is converted into a stable, natural resource using NatPower H technologies to meet the ever-increasing global demand for sustainable sources of power."

"Emitting only water vapor and warm air, hydrogen generates electrical power in a fuel cell," the firm explained.

"The 100 refuelling stations operational by 2030 will deliver up to 3650 tons of green hydrogen annually, eliminating approximately 45,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the Mediterranean’s recreational boats every year," ZHA continued.

ZHA unveils world’s first green hydrogen refuelling stations for Italian marinas

"Safety, scalability and sustainability"

Developed by NatPower H as a green hydrogen fuel solution, the project is based on three key principles: safety, scalability and sustainability. 

"The NatPower H stations will supply hydrogen using proven RINA PED certified low-pressure metal hydrides technologies for marine applications that ensure compactness, safety and resilience in compliance with industry regulations and certifications together with a meticulous focus on circularity and the protection of marine ecosystems," said ZHA.

The office notes that the boating industry is increasingly demanding more sustainable vessels, and shipyards around the world are responding with solutions that will reduce the ecological impact of their operations.

"The demarcation of protected marine areas around the world which now prohibit the use of diesel engines underscores the importance of ecologically sustainable developments in the industry."

"This rapid energy transition is currently held back by the lack of infrastructure for distribution and refuelling with zero-impact energy sources," the office added. 

"A network of sustainable energy hubs"

With green hydrogen, the company aims to create a network of sustainable energy hubs in all major Italian marinas, while establishing ideal conditions to facilitate the ongoing development and use of hydrogen-powered vessels.

"The Italian shipbuilding industry leads the world in terms of the number of boats built, and our aim is to facilitate the energy transition of this crucial market, promoting the use of hydrogen-powered boats with no direct CO2 emissions," stated Andrea Minerdo, CEO NatPower H. 

"Although the project has only just been launched, we already have a pipeline of 25 agreements with Italian marinas and ports, allowing us to start developing a global network of widespread hydrogen fuel stations," Minerdo added.

ZHA unveils world’s first green hydrogen refuelling stations for Italian marinas

Ecologically-responsible design

ZHA created green hydrogen refuelling stations that are ecologically responsible and meet the highest safety standards. 

Informed by ZHA's research for modular systems, the design is adaptable to various locations throughout the Mediterranean. The design also enables a customized configuration for each refuelling station based on specific local needs such as overall size, seating, bike charging facilities and the pedestrian circulation within each port and marina.

Created by utilizing 3D robotic material placement for the segments of each structure, the stations are fully recyclable, dry-assembled masonry, minimising construction waste while also enhancing material efficiencies. 

3D-printed blocks, made up of layered composition, echo the processes evident in nature which create the striated structures. Their fluid geometries are derived from natural formations within Mediterranean landscapes and marine ecosystems. 

The refuelling stations’ design has been developed from ZHA’s Computation and Design Research Group’s (ZHA CODE) collaborations with Block Research Group and Incremental3D investigating unreinforced masonry structures, 3D-printed concrete and sustainable digital concrete construction. 

Evident in the team’s acclaimed Striatus Bridge in Venice and the Pheonix Bridge at the Holcim Innovation Hub in Lyon, circular construction integrating computational design and 3D-printing reduces the structural materials required by up to 50% with no compromise in performance using blocks that can be easily disassembled and recycled.

ZHA unveils world’s first green hydrogen refuelling stations for Italian marinas

"Built with low-carbon concrete, the structural strength of ZHA's hydrogen refuelling stations is generated through geometry rather than increased use of materials," Filippo Innocenti, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects.

"Combining the latest innovations in construction techniques with the historic engineering developed throughout the Mediterranean by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, the stations use advanced circular building technologies, reflecting NatPower H's commitment to an ecologically responsible future," Innocenti added.

The green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for the recreational boating industry has been developed by NatPower H in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects, BluEnergy Revolution, Fitchner, Linde, Studio Maresca, S.i.g.e. and Tecma Solutions.

Zaha Hadid Architects completed the Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre in China. In addition, the firm completed Masaryčka Building with golden vertical fins in Prague.

Project facts

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
ZHA Principal: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Director: Filippo Innocenti
ZHA Project Associate: Luciano Letteriello
ZHA CODE: Tommaso Casucci, Heba Eiz, Oliver Moldow, Taeyoon Kim, Binru Wang, Jianfei Chu, Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth, Shajay Bhooshan

Consultants Team
Strategic Positioning: Baglietto
American’s Cup Partnership: BlueGame
Hydrogen Technology Consultant: BluEnergy Revolution
Project Management & Engineering Advisor: Fichtner
Media & PR: Havas
Hydrogen and Technology Partner: Linde
Legal Consultant Partner: Studio Maresca
Safety Advisor: Sige

All renderings © Tecma Solutions.

> via ZHA 

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