This Boat Will Run for Six Years on Nothing But Wind, Water and Hydrogen

The vessel is a converted multi-hull race boat powered by solar panels, wind turbines, and a hydrogen fuel cell system.

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Jan 23 2017, 4:43pm

Talk about energy efficient, this boat will use only sun, wind, and hydrogen for power to last six years as it travels around the world.

Called the "Energy Observer," the eco-friendly vessel is a converted multi-hull race boat powered by solar panels, wind turbines, and a hydrogen fuel cell system. The boat's captains, Jerome Delafosse, a professional diver and documentarian, and Victorien Erussard, offshore racer and Merchant navy officer, both from France, are preparing now to embark on this long, experimental journey.

"In the past, man explored to conquer territories and to appropriate wealth. With Energy Observer, we want to explore to discover and share solutions for a cleaner future," said Delafosse on their website.

Crafted by architects, navigators, and engineers, the boat is not only energy efficient, but totally autonomous: it creates energy onboard. It uses natural wind energy and hydrogen that's been decarbonized from ocean water, making it the first independent hydrogen-powered boat in the world. This model allows powering the boat to be both inexpensive and carbon-free. A smart traction kite will help convert the boat's engines into hydro generators.

The boat will visit 50 countries and make 101 stops in search of "innovative solutions" to environmental issues. The "Energy Observer" is meant to be more than a boat, but a form of media promoting the idea that creative, environmental solutions are possible, according to the project's website.

The "Energy Observer" expedition has two goals: It will test these technologies in real time out at sea, and therefore also in extreme environments, and search for environmental solutions as it circumnavigates the globe.

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