The Energy Observer, the world’s first hydrogen vessel without greenhouse gas emissions, arrived in Hamburg on April 26, 2019 for its 36th stopover. The vessel is on a worldwide tour of 101 ports. The catamaran is moored at the Magellan Terraces in HafenCity until May 5, 2019. The French ship will take part in the parade of ships on May 9, 2019 to open the 830th Port Anniversary Celebrations underway from May 10-12, 2019.
The catamaran won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht in 1994. Since 2017, the converted high-tech ship has been touring the world and promoting CO2-free shipping using hydrogen. Victorien Erussard, the captain and the filmmaker Jérôme Delafosse, who is the expedition leader, are promoting their project in the run-up to 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Their catamaran is operated on a mix of renewable energies coupled with a system for producing carbon-free hydrogen from seawater. Solar panels are used to charge the batteries. The Energy Observer has two integrated Oceanwings® propulsion wings that reduce energy consumption, accelerate its speed and produce energy and hydrogen while sailing. A delighted Erussard said: “I am very satisfied with the first assessment of this navigation between Amsterdam and Hamburg. The system of our Oceanwings is an excellent one that allows us to go faster and use less energy. A new challenge will be to work on the hydrogenation part: i.e. the production of energy obtained thanks to the rotation of the propellers.”
Hydrogen – as a source of energy
As part of Hamburg’s energy project New 4.0, research is underway to determine how electricity from wind energy can be stored using hydrogen, and can then be used as propulsion energy e.g. in buses. The inclusion of the Energy Observer in the parade of ships indicates the importance of hydrogen technology for the port administration. “Hamburg is an important stopover for us. Germany, the world’s fourth largest power, is already engaged in strong civic and political initiatives in support of the energy transition. We are very interested in deciphering all the complexity and balances of this transition, but also the solutions proposed by the city of Hamburg, which is deploying intelligent and digitized management systems,” said Delafosse.
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