Energy Observer Expedition Aims to Show Power of Renewables
This ship will utilize a mixture of solar, wind, and hydrogen energy to navigate around the seven seas. Dubbed “The Energy Observer”, this ship looks to be a breakthrough in environmentally friendly technologies.
The Energy Observer, the first ship to utilize hydrogen power, is already being pushed to the limits. The ship and crew are set to complete a six-year voyage around the world. The vessel produces both solar and wind power. It also produces its own hydrogen from seawater, and emits no greenhouse gasses. The developers of the project hail it as a model for energy networks of the future.
Its hydrogen-generating technology features an electrolyzer that separates water into its fundamental elements, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then compressed and then stored in eight energy tanks made from aluminum and carbon fiber. Ready to be used in stacks when needed. Lot’s of sophisticated stuff going on here, which honestly, we are still trying to understand. This would be one of the first vehicles on land, air, or sea to utilize hydrogen energy.
Since the ship stores part of its energy in carbon fiber tanks, as oppose to traditional batteries cells. The ship is able to displace approximately 50% of total weight. Carbon fiber being much lighter than battery cells, gives the ship an inherit advantage in weight reduction. As a result the vessel is one of the lightest in the world – perfect for racing!
The vessel embarked on its round the world voyage in 2017, starting in France. The expedition is demonstrating green energy networks at scale. So far its world-wide tour made its away around France, and is now reaching the Mediterranean Sea. In 2019 it will move on to northern Europe aiming to reach Tokyo in time for the Olympic games in 2020.
You can track the ships journey in real-time here
“The ecological transition must be seen as the promise of a better world. Through this unprecedented Odyssey, we want to dream to raise awareness, we want to prove that man can live in harmony with nature and that the fight against global warming can pave the way for a new economic boom.”
–Jérôme Delafosse, expedition leader of Energy Observer