Hydrogen ship prepares for last leg of voyage around the world

Hydrogen ship prepares for last leg of voyage around the world

March 4, 2024 1 By Erin Kilgore

The Energy Observer made a stop in Florida.

The hydrogen ship, a 100-foot zero-emission catamaran powered by renewable energy, including hydrogen that is produced on board, recently docked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The energy-self-sufficient catamaran is nearing the end of its journey.

The Energy Observer is docked in Florida as it prepares to complete the final leg of its journey around the globe.

The hydrogen ship began its current fossil-fuel-free journey around the world in 2020. Since 2017, when it first started sailing, it has reportedly logged 63,040 nautical miles without using fossil fuels.

The hydrogen ship has tested various renewable energy sources.

Fully powered by renewable power, throughout its sailing mission, the Energy Observer hydrogen ship has used multiple green sources of energy. These have included solar panels and advanced sails called “oceanwings”. These automated 12-meter wings increase the catamaran’s speed and lower energy consumption.

Hydrogen ship - Looking back at 2023 - Image source - Energy Observer Youtube

Energy Observer – Image source: Energy Observer YouTube

During the course of the ship’s current voyage, 40% of its energy has come from wind, 40% has come from solar and 20% has come from hydrogen fuel.

Sailing through various climates.

Throughout its global journey the Energy Observer has sailed through multiple climates off the coasts of Africa, Asia and Antarctica.

After its stop in Florida, the hydrogen ship will make its way back to France, from where it began its journey. Prior to reaching France, it will make stops in Washington, New York and Boston.

Decarbonizing the maritime sector.

Maritime transport is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize and currently generates about 3% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

The team behind the Energy Observer project plans to share what they’ve learned along their journey so far, with the hopes of influencing the shipping and maritime sectors.

Sharing what they’ve learned is of particular importance to the team as its “oceanwings” have already been utilized in commercial shipping on a freighter known as the Canopee.

A second hydrogen ship is already in the works.

hydrogen news ebookDubbed, the “Energy Observer 2”, it is a 400-foot-long cargo ship that is capable of carrying 5,000 metric tons. Another hydrogen ship like the Energy Observer, this second model is to be powered by liquid hydrogen.

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