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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Energy Observer- driving the green concept to the maritime journey and the world

Coming from Pattaya, Thailand, the eco-friendly catamaran, Energy Observer, stopped in Hua Hin last month to showcase how the boat is run on clean energy, inspiring locals with the green heart and knowledge to save the world.

The vessel reached its anchorage on May 1-2, 2022 in the Racer Marina of Hua Hin to allow people to get on board and explore its advanced technology and mechanisms that use electro-hydrogen hybridization to propel the vehicle. As the first laboratory for ecological transition, it is a big project driven by many global partners such as Groupe BPCE, Air Liquide, Thelem Assurances, ACCOR Invest, etc. The objective is to produce zero emissions in the maritime journey.

According to the official website of Energy Observer, the Hynova’s electric motors are powered by a hybrid energy source: a fuel cell (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) on one side and batteries (LiFePO4) on the other. The catamaran is capable of producing its own hydrogen fuel by sucking up seawater while it sails at a speed of a little over 7 knots. Salt and minerals are extracted from the water and the water is later sent to an electrolyzer to separate hydrogen and oxygen. Up to 62 kilograms of hydrogen is a capacity that the vehicle can store in carbon fiber tanks under the pressure of 350 bars, which is equivalent to 2 megawatts of energy or the average annual energy consumption of a house. The advantages compared to the other energy options are zero emissions (no carbon dioxide or fine particles), silence, and greater density of power and energy. 

The interior of the boat consists of a kitchen where the 4 onboard crew members can cook homemade recipes, a working table, bedrooms, a bathroom, and a central system-control station. The catamaran itself is 35 years old and had stopped at Singapore, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Hawaii, San Fransisco, and Long Beach in California, USA, and Ecuador before reaching Pattaya and Hua Hin.

The Energy Observer project was born in 2013 from the commitment of Victorien Erussard, a French master mariner, who is passionate about sailing and innovations. To follow the next stopovers, please visit https://www.energy-observer.org/.

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