Energy Observer stops for a visit in D.C. before heading home

Energy Observer stops for a visit in D.C. before heading home

March 19, 2024 0 By Alicia Moore

The DOE is happy to welcome the zero-emission vessel.

Much to the delight of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Energy Observer – the first laboratory vessel in the world to run on renewable power and fuel cells using clean H2 generated from seawater – has made a stopover visit in Washington D.C. The innovative vessel will be docked in the nation’s capital at The Wharf Marina until March 20th.

The DOE was part of some of the innovations used on the H2-powered ship.

The hydrogen-powered vessel, which is nearly at the end of its seven-year expedition around the globe, uses some of the hydrogen and fuel cell innovations developed and funded in part by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO).
These systems allow the Energy Observer to store a portion of the energy it produces from wind to generate green hydrogen from seawater being fed to an electrolyzer on board the vessel. Specifically, the innovations include advanced electrolyzer tech (the electrolyzer was provided by Nel Hydrogen) as well as carbon fiber storage tanks (supplied by Luxfer).

Energy Observer, an “inspiring ambassador”.

Green hydrogen generated from seawater could make sea travel across the globe possible, noted HFTO Director Dr. Sunita Satyapal. Dr. Satyapal joined others for an onboard visit to the Energy Observer to check out the hydrogen fuel cells in operation and to converse with the ship’s crew about the vessel and their experiences with the clean technology.

Energy Observer - Hydrogen-powered ship

Dr. Satyapal said that the Energy Observer has been an “inspiring ambassador of fuel cell powered by clean hydrogen” from renewable power for almost seven years. The HFTO were delighted to have the chance to visit with the crew on the vessel and learn more about how hydrogen fuel cells have supported the ship throughout its journey.

The ship is a floating laboratory that is mostly used to test and enhance groundbreaking tech in extreme conditions, especially around energy production and storage.

New York is the next stop for the sustainable vessel, then on to the Olympics.

Prior to its stopover in D.C., the boat stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After leaving D.C., the Energy Observer will head to New York, then move on to Botson and Saint Pierre et Miquelon before making its way across the Atlantic to St. Malo, France.

Its final stop will be in Paris, from where its journey began in 2017. If all goes to plan, it should reach Paris in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies.

hydrogen news ebookThe Energy Observer won’t be the only hydrogen-powered technology at the Summer Olympics. Toyota will be supplying hydrogen fuel cells modules that will be installed into ten converted coaches to replace diesel engines, for the Olympics.

Ready to test your knowledge on the most abundant element in the universe? Take our fun and engaging Hydrogen Quiz now! [forminator_quiz id=”58712″]

Spread the love