Energy observer

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The first sailing boat to cover over 500 miles in 24 hours, it was then called Enza-New Zealand, and became the second holder of the Jules Verne Trophy with Peter Blake, in 74 days. The catamaran is now going to set off on another round the world trip, but this time without sails and under the name ‘Energy Observer’.  This time the trip is not about speed, but self-sufficiency in energy throughout the 6 years of its round the world program. The aim will be to produce energy with the two big wind generators, the 130m² of solar panels and the two 41kW electric motors in hydro-generator mode when the boat is towed by a kite. This energy will serve to produce hydrogen by electrolysis (breaking down the H20 molecule) from desalinated sea water compressed to 350 bars.

The hydrogen is then stored as a gas in 332-litre tanks, and turned into electricity by a fuel cell. The boat’s 160kW bank of lithium-ion batteries should allow it to cruise at 8 – 10 knots, without resorting to fossil energy.

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