This is an Energy Observer the first ever autonomous hydrogen boat to serve the sea. This former race boat has been fully transformed into a vessel that produces zero emission of greenhouse gases or fine particles. This boat uses a mixture of renewable energy sources such as solar panel, wind turbines, and hydrogen. The energy generated is stored in Lithium Ion batteries which are used for on-demand power and most importantly for electrolysis of water.
Started the journey in 2017, the Energy Observer has partnered with hydrogen technology pioneer – Toyota Motor. Truly, both companies share similar goals on climate change.
“We are really excited to have Toyota Motor Europe on-board for this mission. We share the vision of hydrogen as the key for accelerating energy transition, a vision that we wish to carry to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”Victorien Erussard, Founder and Captain of Energy Observer
As of May 2019 the voyage is on its 36 stopovers at Hamburg and is set to complete Northern Europe by end of 2019. The goal of the journey is to sail to 50 countries with 101 stopovers in a span of 6 years.
The vessel built in Canada in 1983, sits at about 30.5 m length and functions using solar, wind, ‘green’ hydrogen, and recently installed wind propulsion wings. The hydrogen an abundant element does not occur naturally in nature. So, the ‘Green” hydrogen is produced using electrolysis which is a process where electricity is used to split water molecules in hydrogen and oxygen.
On the vessel, there are 8 tanks constructed of aluminum and carbon fiber. The tanks have the capacity to hold 62kg of hydrogen in a gaseous state. The stored hydrogen is used to power the electric motor for propulsion when needed.