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Energy Observer: a sea journey for energies of the future

Thematic : Conversion - Storage

Release : 30/01/2017

Energy Observer: a sea journey for energies of the future.

The catamaran “Energy Observer” is facing a major challenge this year: to sail around the world thanks to its energy self-sufficiency and without greenhouse gas emissions. Powered by renewable energies and hydrogen, combined with the energy mix, Energy Observer will begin its journey for the energetic transition this year for a unique worldwide experience.

6 years, 50 countries, 101 calls and many challenges to come!

Energy Observer aims to sail without any fossil fuel during this journey around the world from 2017 to 2022. This remarkable “odyssey” will make calls in maritime capitals, historic harbors, and natural reserves and will be present on key-international events. This floating laboratory, evolving in extreme environment, has been made possible thanks to both passionate sailors: Victorien Erussard and Jérome Delafosse.

The catamaran and its crew have a dual mission: to optimize onboard technological innovations to make it deployable and to meet various audiences involved in the energy challenges of the future: decision-makers, start-ups, communities and world citizens… A whole generation committed all across the world for a better future!

From the laboratory bench to onboard innovative technologies

Hydrogen is crucial in the Energy Observer project: as a large scale demonstrator, the boat is combining various renewable energy sources to produce and to store hydrogen derived from sea water electrolysis. This technological achievement has many devices onboard: two vertical wind turbines, an intelligent trainer kite, various types of photovoltaic modules and two reversible and hydro generators electric motors. This unique architecture, developed in close collaboration with CEA-Liten (member of "Energies du futur" Carnot institute), is aiming 100% of energy self-sufficiency without any greenhouse gas and fine particles emissions.

Innovation on board:

  • Vertical wind turbines;
  • Bifacial and thermoformed photovoltaic modules;
  • Intelligent trainer kite;
  • Reversible electric motors;
  • Long-term energy storage (hydrogen produced by sea water electrolysis);
  • Short-term energy storage (Li-ion batteries);
  • Monitoring (pilotage, monitoring and energy management);
  • Intelligent routing system.

The Energy Observer’s project is sponsored by Florence Lambert, CEA-Liten CEO, and Nicolas Hulot, President of “Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme”.

Accor Hotels and Thélem assurances are the main partners of the project.

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