Is this Hydrogen-Powered Ship a Look Into the Future?

Written by

Lewis Morgan

Posted on

October 9, 2019

Posted in

The Energy Observer, a 30-metre long catamaran, has arrived in London this week as part of its zero emissions voyage around the world.

That’s right, zero emissions.

The Energy Observer is the world’s first hydrogen-powered ship and has already travelled 18,000 miles since it left Saint Malo on the west coast of France.

How Does it Work?

Sponsored by Toyota, the vessel creates its own hydrogen by sucking up sea water. Salt and minerals are removed from the water where it is then put through an electroliser that breaks water into two elements; hydrogen and oxygen.

The oxygen is released and hydrogen is stored in two tanks, ready to be used to power the ship.

Energy Observer crew-member Amélie Conty said:

“In total it can store 62kg of hydrogen which is the equivalent of two megawatt hours of energy. This is the annual consumption of an average household – so a lot of energy,”

“We use renewable energies all day long to charge our batteries and propel the boat. When we don’t have enough of those renewable energies we have our own hydrogen on board that we use to propel the boat,”

The ships energy generation is split: 52% from the sun, 42% from its wings and 6% from hydrogen.

The Energy Observer will leave London in 10 days and continued it’s tour of 50 countries and 101 ports.

Ms. Conty continued:

“We’re finishing our European tour in London for many reasons. The main reason why we stop is to talk about the boat and the environment and the sustainable development goals of the UN,”

“Today is quite a special day because of the big Extinction Rebellion protests which obviously we totally agree with and it’s sad we can’t be there with them. We really support what they’re doing and they are in our thoughts.”

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