Frequently Asked Questions
These are the ones we get a lot - but if you think of any other good ones, get in touch or tweet us!
Aren’t the International Maritime Organization (IMO) taking care of this already with reduction targets?
The IMO has set a reduction target for 2050, but it has also been told by the UN to make its rules more restrictive (as in achieving net-zero by 2050, not just a percentage reduction) - so far it has not acted. While the authority and political make-ups of the two organizations are very different (the IMO has power proportioned by number of ships flagged to the state, whereas the UN is more based on economic strength), it is likely the IMO will have to take further action than they are currently considering, or face other governing bodies circumventing their authority (as we’re already seeing with mandates from the EU). This will force ship owners & operators to divest away from fossil fuels and explore alternatives, like Spaera. However, for the moment the IMO remains tangled up with vested interests and localized politics.
Why not use pure Hydrogen?
Hydrogen in its elemental form is just too difficult to store. It needs to be at either extreme cold (< -253 C / -423 F), or extreme pressure ( 700 bar / 10,100 PSI), and it's the smallest molecule found in nature, so it finds its way past even the best seals. If hydrogen escapes, it is about 6 times more damaging compared to CO2 in terms of climate change impact (Read Here)
Why use fuel cells over internal combustion engines?
Fuel cells allow us to more precisely control exactly which chemical reactions happen with our fuel / energy medium. Combustion is too 'wild' a process, and we get undesirable reactions happening, producing NOx, SOx, CO, particulates, and aromatic hydrocarbons. All very bad for us, for the atmosphere, and its other inhabitants.
What happens when there is no wind?
The ship will be capable of running on 100% stored energy, 100% wind energy, or almost any combination of both. A safety benefit of having two sources of propulsion, and especially having one made from smaller modular ingredients, is that we have redundancy for safety, and flexibility for economy. If we have an abundance of wind, or our cargo is not urgent meaning we can travel slower, we can use less methanol and rely on sails, reducing our economic burden and emissions at the same time.
What does Spaera mean?
SPAERA comes from the Latin term for a sphere, globe or working model of the universe. In Italian, it also means hope. We feel a tremendous sense of hope and excitement for the future of the world that we are responsible for building.
Are we hiring?
Yes! We are looking for talented and passionate individuals that are motivated to have a positive impact while here on spaceship earth, and hopefully leave it in a better condition than we found it.
Can I help with Spaera's mission?
Absolutely! Whether formally or informally, what we're doing is changing the system, and the system is the product of many people's minds. If we can change people's minds, we can change the system! Follow us on social media, get the word out, and talk to people who may not understand what we're doing or may be skeptical about our approach.
What's with the name Lovelock?
The Lovelock is named after the late James Lovelock, author of the Gaia Hypothesis – proposing that all living organisms on this planet interact with their surrounding inorganic environment to form a synergetic equilibrium. We felt this a fitting name for a vessel that aims to work with the surrounding environment to come to a stable equilibrium.