Nov 27

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.


The TRYBRID Project will deliver a technology demonstrator for the new energy agenda, on a platform that has never before been seen : a fuel cell circumnavigation of  the planet, using energy in new ways  through onboard processing. Photovoltaic solar energy, will hybridize with a fuel cell, and a gas fired diesel electric, in a three way


combination, atop the triple hulled, TRYBRID.  To do this natural gas is steam reformed on demand,  to supply a hydrogen reformate gas, to power a PEM  fuel cell. As well, the 70% hydrogen brew, is added to internal combustion, to clean up the exhaust from the gas fired diesel electric system, (used for 20 knot sprint speeds). This revolutionary trimaran, will be taken on a 3 year circumnavigation of the world’s capital cities, in a partnership in negotiation between China and Australia.  The project is both a climate change ambassador, and a lighthouse for the clean use of gas based fuels. Given the inevitable ramping of oil prices, overlaid with climate change concerns, the TRYBRID project is, indeed, ‘An idea whose time has arrived’.

Australia’s world dominance as designer of the most efficient fast ferries, combined with leading edge EU hydrogen technology,  is being deployed by the Australians and Chinese, to confront and abate concerns around CO2, peak oil, and diesel emission toxicity.


Commercial spin-offs, in the marine and transport sector are substantive. A range of marine uses in recreational,  ferry and military use can be based on the fast, efficient TRYBRID platform, where speed over long distance does not come with a heavy fuel bill, nor a  sea movement inducing sea sickness. The lack of hot exhaust give the vessel a low infrared signature, which when combined to the boats ability to refuel on unrefined gas at sea, or to run on a choice of fuels, has clear implication for patrol boat deployment. The development of the engineering design and accreditation standards needed to promote gas as a marine fuel, is an important part of TRYBRID’s purpose.

More significant in the project’s commercial  application, is the shift towards natural gas as a stepping stone into hydrogen as a transport fuel. TRYBRID obviates the need for a specialist hydrogen refueling stations, and by laying bare the comparative efficiencies of both gas fired diesel combustion, and the fuel cell, at last, a hydrogen project is being honest about the energy needed to make hydrogen.  The uptake implications for transport, especially marine transport, are important.


This website details the boats design purpose and features. We look at the designers, builders, academics, government and industrialists who are engaged on the project, along with the aid teams with whom the boat will be working, after its world technology demonstration tour. This site is a blog that has tracked the  progress of the project. Feel free to add a comment.

The significance of the goodwill partnership proposed between China and Australia, through TRYBRID, sends a profound and responsible message from two countries, who together, are producing and using large amounts of gas based energy. The message is clear. Innovation  in partnership, can change the destiny and direction of the transport sector, currently on a global highway, where the current traffic flow leads to an environmental and economic cliff face. Read the rest of this entry »
Nov 25


Many months on the road in Europe opened up a range technological connections and directions, to take the TRYBRID project from concept , to engineered solution. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 19

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” Albert Einstein.


The TYBRID project is investigating the use of natural gas to make hydrogen for two purposes, one simply to use the pure hydrogen to power a fuel cell, and a second purpose of firing up the diesels with a mixture of mainly natural gas, with a dash of diesel and hydrogen.

Hydrogen enjoys the ability to be produced from a wide range of sources. One such source is simple water, where around 55kw of electricity is needed to make the rough equivalent of a US gallon of petrol, in hydrogen gas. This process is called electrolysis, and the closest you may have come to a roughly similar process, is when you saw the bubbles forming on the plates of conventional car battery. One of the other ways to make hydrogen, is in the process where 85% of the energy from LPG or natural gas, is transferred or ‘reformed’ to make hydrogen. This we hoped can be done onboard, in a small hydrogen reformer and PSA unit, separate from the hydrogen electrolyzer. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 19

The 17th World Hydrogen Energy Conference was held Brisbane, Australia, from June 15 to 19, 2008. dsc06106.JPGAt the same time, filming for a documentary, tracking the progress of the TRYBRID project, commenced, with 5 hours of footage shot , collating the most up to date expression of expert opinion, from the world’s leaders in hydrogen, selected from 600 delegates from over 40 countries, All were gathered to discuss the hydrogen agenda in the context of the sudden 2008 world oil price spike, and against the backdrop of the international shift in acceptance around the climate change agenda of 2007.

Ina few weeks, the TRYBRID will upload several hours of opinions from a range of experts as below, along with political views from environment ministers , state secretaries, and acting premiers, and many more. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 6

solar-cells-17-5.jpgTRYBRID’s new found energy appetite, with the shift away from limited battery storage, to the more energy intense hydrogen storage, has created a re-think of the project’s capacity to make electricity from photovoltaic solar arrays. We have now added in awnings and trampolines covered in added photovoltaic cells. With say lithium batteries alone, we could both quickly fill, and more disappointingly, very quickly empty the batteries. The production of hydrogen through photovoltaic, electrically powered electrolysis, means we can store days of seagoing power, instead of just hours worth, in batteries. But it also means TRYBRID has an insatiable desire for its own, onboard source energy, in TRYBRID’s case, from photovoltaic power from the sun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 5


It’s windy out, there on the world oceans. No inconvenient mountains or trees diminish the wind’s power out on the big blue. But most of a boats life is at anchor, moored up, where the wind still blows. But unlike sailors battling flapping headsails in the middle of the night, the wind that sweeps over a boat can be used and stored, even whilst the boat is unattended. In TRYBRID’s shift to hydrogen gas, as a core energy storage medium, all of a sudden the boat design has a big appetite for energy to make hydrogen via electrolysis. So we have added wind turbines, to be deployed at anchor. Lots of them. A small wind turbine, that won’t slice an arm off, can still generate 500watts. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 4

imageron02.jpg The TRYBRIB project shares many of the aims of the educational programs embodied in the Solar Boat Challenge and its sister program, the Hydrogen Car Challenge. Both these Australian schools programs aim to bring awareness, in a DYI experiential way, that is introducing the solar and hydrogen agendas to thousands of school kids. imagekit.jpgThe programs give basic build components to the many and growing interested schools, with annual competitions organised to excite some competitive fun, as the new energies are deployed in small cars, and boats… both model and pilot-able. Read the rest of this entry »

May 29

image-6.jpgThe process of designing a boat that is not much like anything that proceeds it, takes degree of imagination that the new software in 3D development makes much more accessible an engaging.

The general layout drawings ( in many editions) were evolved in a 2D format, but the real job of making it all come together, in a three dimensional form, is where the real design sculpting starts. From a cardboard model, to a 2D plan, then on into 3D plan, the naval architectural process is candy for those with hungry imagination. Read the rest of this entry »

May 11

unknown-1.jpgIt had to happen sooner or later. Batteries just won’t cut it. When you have a perpetual incoming stream of photovoltaic power, with nowhere to go after you have filled the batteries, some serious naval gazing was inevitable. We already have an electric powered boat, ready for a hydrogen fuel cell to feed . We already have a huge photovoltaic supply of free electricity. The batteries, even several tonnes of the very best Lithium batteries, can be filled and emptied at an alarmingly impractical rate. You can’t just keep adding tonnes more lithium batteries; it will eventually weigh the boat down, this is a boat, not a submarine. But unlike just about any other means of transport, including trains and planes, buses and cars….. boats are unique. Boats are not restricted in width by rail gauges or road rules. Boats can easily support huge photovoltaic arrays…especially if you design the boat from the water up, to be a giant solar array. This is TRYBRID. Read the rest of this entry »

May 7

There is not much point in designing one of the world’s leading, new energy platforms, unless the platform dsc05997.JPGitself is at the cutting edge, in this case, of international naval architectural design.

Australia boasts being the world’s leader in fast ferry design, and the designer in Australia with the best track record in hull efficiency, is the design group, One2Three Design, based in Sydney.image-02.jpg

Critical to efficiency at sea are two core things, minimal skin friction, and excellent hull shaping to, well, deal with those pesky waves you find out there. Add light, well distributed weight, and some good old fashioned sea keeping abilities, and TRYBRID is indeed leading naval architecture into a filed on new ideas.dsc06001.JPG Read the rest of this entry »

« Previous Entries