A boat’s that powered by wind, water and sun is about to attempt to make it around the earth.
Running on solar power and wind energy, as well as hydrogen that it will self-generate by breaking down water, the Energy Observer is aiming to be the aquatic equivalent of the Solar Impulse plane that completed the world’s first round-the-globe trip using solar energy and nothing else in July.
During the fossil fuel–free voyage, the multi-hulled watercraft will power its electric motors using juice its batteries collect from panels, turbines and electrolysis gear, the Guardian reports.
The 100-foot-long catamaran — which was designed by the CEA-Liten research center in France with assistance from naval architects — will make 101 stopovers during its journey, and the worldwide trip is expected to take six years at a cost of nearly $4.5 million per year.
So, not a quick jaunt.
But if the water-bound effort proves successful, the implications will be profound.
"Energy Observer is emblematic of what will be the energy networks of tomorrow, with solutions that could even be used within five years," CEA-Liten director Florence Lambert said. “For example, the houses of tomorrow could incorporate a system of hydrogen storage, which is produced during the summer months and then used in the winter."
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