Energy Observer, the world’s first oceangoing zero emissions catamaran, arrived in Antwerp, Belgium on March 21st, its 34th port of call since it began its around the world cruise in June of 2017. It will be moored in the harbor near the Noordkasteel basin until March 29. Visitors can learn more about the ship and its round the world voyage from 10 am to 6 pm every day at the 200 square meter pavilion set up near its berth in the harbor.
The Energy Observer is powered by electric motors running on 100% renewable energy thanks to solar panels mounted on its deck, two vertical wind turbines mounted near the stern, and hydrogen made onboard from desalinated seawater. The hydrogen fuel will be used at night or whenever there is not sufficient energy available from the solar panels, wind turbines, or kite to power the vessel.
The vessel is also equipped with a kite sail that assists in navigation and also generates power. The sail will be used during long voyages, like crossing the Atlantic Ocean, or when there’s wind at high altitude. While it is pulling the boat through the water, the ship’s propeller turns an electric motor to create electricity. Think of it as a version of regenerative braking. The system can make between 2 and 4 kilowatts of power.
Energy Observer is on an odyssey around the world in search of innovative solutions for the environment. Over a period of 6 years, it will make 101 stopovers in 50 countries, and 101 stopovers on its quest to meet people who are designing tomorrow’s future and prove that a cleaner world is possible.
“The ecological transition needs to be seen as a promise for a better world. Through this exclusive odyssey, we want to make people dream, to raise awareness, to prove that humans can live in harmony with nature and that the fight against global warming can open some doors to a new economic expansion,” says Jérôme Delafosse, leader of the Energy Observer expedition.
He says during the trip the crew will be visiting startups all over the world whose who are interested in protecting the Earth through innovation. “This will include all the technological solutions aimed at protecting our planet such as creating corals using 3D printers, generating light from sea bacteria or creating plastic using seaweed,” he says.