Feadship has unveiled its latest Future Concept Feadship, which offers a dramatic new vision on how the next generation of owners will perceive and experience life onboard a luxury motoryacht. The Aeon concept blends an exceptionally eco-friendly.. attitude with Feadship design flair and construction excellence. Its spectacular glass tower and green energy system reflects a desire to be at one with the environment in every respect.The goal for 2009 was to get inside the mindset of an archetypal Feadship owner in 2020, taking into account new research among clients, the very latest trends from other industries, and the environmental considerations that concern us all. Aeon is the spectacular outcome.
“The vast majority of current Feadship owners have an eco-aware attitude and this seems set to deepen in the years ahead,” explains Feadship’s marketing manager Francis Vermeer. “Taking this as a primary source of inspiration, the designers from De Voogt Naval Architects and creatives from the De Vries and Van Lent yards spent countless hours exploring every possible angle. The name Aeon reflects the fact that the choices we make today will have long-lasting consequences both for ourselves and our planet.”
An adventurous spirit
The concept team believes that many adventurous owners will look to use their yacht to carry out research and disseminate knowledge. Observation is therefore a key tenant of the Aeon concept. A giant glass tower dominates the boat, stretching from the highest point of the top deck to well below the waterline. It is home to an ocean observatory, environmental research laboratory, a private owner’s terrace, tenders, a water plane, a dive capsule and much more besides. A glass lift runs up and down the entire tower providing access to and from each deck.
Divers and their boat and equipment exit the yacht via the type of moon pool that is currently deployed in sophisticated offshore and research operations.
In pure design terms the starting point for Aeon was the whale. “These graceful creatures are a constant reminder of what we stand to lose if nature is not allowed to run its course,”
adds Vermeer. “Aeon’s curvaceous design encapsulates their form, elegance and size. And the power of nature was harnessed in every way possible, including a wealth of opportunities to capture the energy of the sun.”
Large parts of the yacht’s surface can be equipped with solar paneling for the greenest possible power supply. Depending on the hull colour, the solar panels might be slightly tinted and the windows in the upper superstructure could have the same color. The bow is slightly flat, resembling the front of a whale, and its sloping profile creates space for an observation area forward.
The spaces forward and aft of the glass tower are also used to spectacular effect. At the heart of the main deck is a spacious saloon, with a dining room/meeting area forward featuring full-height glass walls looking into the tower. A broadcast studio will allow owners to share their activities with a global audience. Also on the main deck are four large guest suites, two with large skylights in the ceiling. Tucked away in the bow is the bow-snug: At the touch of a button the roof opens up to reveal a spectacular sight.
Advanced energy solutions
Aeon’s environmental impact will be significantly reduced by a raft of innovations. Tapping into the technologies being explored in every aspect of industry, Feadship has created a blueprint for a yacht that is eminently durable and impressively efficient. Aeon deploys an advanced energy system using bio-diesel and solar energy. Propulsion is entirely electric without any combustion engines, and the yacht runs on synthetic fuel that can be produced from natural gas, biomass or algae. Bio-diesel is converted to hydrogen in a reformer, a small chemical plant that processes fuel to make it suitable for the cells. All waste products are recycled. The CO2 is sequestered with photosynthetic algae in a bioreactor, which also uses nutrients present on board (i.e. from the wastewater system) and sunlight. A steam drive system uses the reformer’s waste heat to generate additional electricity. It also uses water, which is vaporized to steam by using heat from the exhaust gases. The steam then expands in the expander, which can be directly installed onto an alternator in order to produce electricity.
Tomorrow’s technologies today
The hydrogen is converted to electricity in fuel cells, a technology that is already close to mass production. Since Aeon’s installation is modular, no redundant power supply has to be installed. By using current technologies the combined efficiency of the reformer and fuel cells already
exceeds the performance of today’s state-of-the-art diesel engines. Additional electricity is generated by the more than 400 square meters of solar cells found on top of Aeon.
The electricity generated by the fuel cells, solar panels and steam drive system can be used for the hotel load and propulsion, or be stored in a large battery bank. This battery bank is used to flatten the peak loads and can also be used to reach a higher top speed. While the reformer and fuel cell combination provide power for a continuous top speed of 18 knots, Aeon will be able to reach 25 knots using additional power from the batteries.
22nd century thinking
Aeon’s construction and later dismantling has been optimized by analyzing the total production process, reducing the use of materials which are harmful for the environment. As a result, perhaps some time early in the 22nd century, those tasked with ending the yacht’s life will be able to recycle large parts. And during Aeon’s many decades of successful sailing she will also enjoy exceptional hull efficiency and further reductions in energy consumption.
For another opportunity to see Aeon on display this year, visit our exhibition stand at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 29 – November 2, 2009).
More infos at Feadship website.