Energy Observer is far from the first vessel driven only by energy, drawn from environmentally friendly renewable sources. Its main difference from other similar courts, in particular, from PlanetSolar, is that in addition to solar energy it will use and wind energy, and the excess generated energy will be accumulated not in batteries, but in the form of hydrogen, which is obtained by splitting water. And currently preparation is already underway catamaran Energy Observer to commit round-the-world voyage, which will begin in February of this year and so the catamaran received the unofficial nickname of "marine Solar Impulse".
Now catamaran Energy Observer is located at the shipyard in Saint-Malo on the West coast of France in anticipation of the installation of solar panels, wind generators, equipment for water electrolysis and fuel cells that will transform hydrogen back into electrical energy. A combination of several types of energy sources solar panels and wind generators, plus the energy storage system based on hydrogen, which provides 20 times more capacity than with conventional rechargeable batteries will enable the catamaran to move hard towards his goal at night and despite the cloudy weather.
The catamaran that served as the basis for Energy Observer, has a storied past. In 1994 he became the winner of the race, Jules Verne trophy, which must circumnavigate the globe without stopping. Later the vessel was sold for the sum of half a million euros, and subjected to the alteration of the needs of the project Energy Observer, in which its length has increased by six meters and amounted to 30.5 meters.
Catamaran Energy Observer was developed as a collaborative effort of several leading marine engineers and experts of scientific research Institute CEA-Liten, Grenoble, France, which specializiruetsya on the technologies of renewable energy sources. The total cost of the project amounts to 4.2 million euros. In addition to performing the main task, the ship Energy Observer will be used as a floating polygon of the Institute CEA-Liten, which will be tested in a variety of elements of environmentally sound technologies, starting from sensors and ending with hydrogen fuel cells.
It is planned that the round trip catamaran Energy Observer will take six years. After launch the ship crosses the Mediterranean sea, will be released and will cross the Atlantic and then the Pacific ocean. Most of this time the vessel will be parked, all the way until 101 scheduled stop. But these won't be wasted, at stops will be lectures, demonstrations, and other events devoted to problems of energy saving technologies and alternative energy sources.
According to preliminary calculations, world travel catamaran Energy Observer also "fly" on its implementation will require about 4 million euros per year, which will be mainly spent on the organization of exhibitions, lectures and presentations. However, the team standing behind this project, is confident that they will be able to obtain the necessary funds.published