Aboard the Energy Observer, a French hydrogen/solar/wind powered boat


I got a chance to visit the Energy Observer, a French boat powered by solar and wind with hydrogen energy storage as it visited SF while sailing around the world.

Hydrogen doesn't work so well in cars, but it can make sense in other places like aircraft, trucks and grid. But what about on a boat?

Read my analysis at Aboard the Energy Observer, a French hydrogen/solar/wind powered boat


We are trying to solve this particular puzzle with our Elizabeth Swann project. We think it is possible to cross the Atlantic on our hydrogen fuel tanks - without using solar panels - just to prove the point: http://elizabethqueenseaswann.com/Boat_Development_Specifications/H2Hydrogen_Tanks_Storage_Cylinders1000psi_Large70Bars_High_Capacity_Dual_Purpose_Ships_Hulls.html

But it's silly not to use the sun or the wind when they can help you.

One thing I wonder if anybody has investigated that might be interesting is also using wave power. To use wave power you would have hulls that ride on the seas and a passenger/cargo cabin that's on pistons. The pistons go up and down to keep the cabin level on a smooth ride, and they also generate energy. They would use some energy to keep the ride fully smooth but it might be a huge win, not just for energy but for comfort at sea. Though with giant swells there would be a limit to what the pistons can do.

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