The Energy Observer, a refurbished racing catamaran, powered by the sun, wind, and hydrogen, will circumnavigate the globe over six years, visiting 101 ports in 50 countries. The team will rely solely on renewable energy to reach their destinations.

“We want to demonstrate the use of renewable, green, zero-pollution fuel technologies and spread the message all over the world,” the captain of the boat Erussard says.

The primary source of power is the array of solar panels specifically designed for this particular purpose. They occupy most of the boat’s surface. The Energy Observer is also equipped with a kite sail that serves a dual purpose of assisting in navigation and generating power. The boat is also equipped with two vertical wind turbines that will produce around 3 kW of power, which is 1/10th of the power needed for the two electrical motors.

The most interesting source of power, however, is an electrolyzer that will extract hydrogen from sea water. An onboard electrolyzer can break seawater down into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then stored in tanks in gaseous form to be used at night or under cloud cover, as well as at the start of long sails – hydrogen has 20 times higher power density compared to those of batteries.

A detail worth noting, the Energy Observer is a modern boat that will not lack modern comforts. It is to prove that living in a modern way does not exclude responsible and ecological behavior and vise versa.

energy observer
Credit: Kadeg Boucher/Energy Observer
Credit: Kadeg Boucher/Energy Observer
Credit: Jeremy Bidon/Energy Observer
Credit: Energy Observer
Credit: Energy Observer
Credit: Energy Observer

Energy Observer: Around the World on Renewables – The Crux

For over two decades, 45-year-old, French documentary maker Jerome Delafosse has been diving into oceans the world over to film marine life, and he’s thrilled about his next expedition-above water. This spring, he will serve as chief explorer aboard the Energy Observer, a boat powered by the sun, wind and hydrogen.

More about the project:

Energy Observer

ENERGY OBSERVER, the first hydrogen vessel around the world. An Odyssey for the Future.