First boat to make its own hydrogen fuel from seawater
3:48

First boat to make its own hydrogen fuel from seawater

Science
You're looking at the first boat capable of making its own hydrogen fuel from the water underneath it. Meet the energy observer. Each day the energy observer produces enough energy to power nine homes for one full day. Once its batteries are full, it stores the extra energy as hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen has long been touted as a clean energy alternative. But it's so far failed to catch on in our daily lives, partly because most folks won't buy a hydrogen powered car until there's more hydrogen refueling stations. And there's not much incentive to build hydrogen refueling stations until more people are driving hydrogen cars. That's where the energy observer comes in. This floating lab is currently in the middle of a six year journey around the world to prove the durability and usefulness of many different cutting edge technologies on board including hydrogen. Together. These technologies allow the vessel to be 100% energy self sufficient. The energy observer is covered top to bottom in 200 square meters of solar panel Panels which soak up sunshine from the sky above, as well as from the reflections off the ocean surface. These solar panels charge up a set of lithium ion batteries for short term energy storage during the day. Any extra energy is stored as hydrogen made from the seawater below. This is what really makes the energy observer special. Energy observer has teamed up with Toyota to create its hydrogen fuel cell utilizing components from Toyota's hydrogen powered arrive vehicle line. The fuel cell is aptly named the range extender, H2 or Rxh2 for the short. Before the Rxh2, no fuel cell had ever been used across An ocean in a single trip, without the possibility of being refueled or repaired. Here's how it works. The energy observer pulls up seawater and forces it through a filtering membrane to remove the salt. Then it just takes the H out of the pure h2o, with a little help from electricity. The hydrogen is then compressed and stored in tanks, To be converted back into electricity once it's needed. While the boat is on the move, it harnesses the power of the wind for maximum efficiency. Those two skinny sails are called ocean waves. The energy observer team says the 12 meter ocean waves are twice as efficient as traditional sales. Can rotate a full 360 degrees and are fully automated. The energy observer team says that these ocean wings can reduce energy consumption 18 to 42% depending on the conditions, that energy savings is especially significant because it allows the energy observer to keep producing hydrogen Even while it's moving, whereas before the installation of the ocean wings, it could only do so when stopped with a crew of 10. The energy observer has been proving and improving its self sufficiency as it has travelled the world since 2017. But the first of its kind vessels trip around the world has Has faced some complications due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The crew has faced months of containment aboard the ship and had to modify their itinerary as they try to adhere to ever changing international safety precautions designed to protect local populations from Coronavirus, brought by unknowingly infected visitors. The energy observer crew aims to complete their trip around the world and In 2023, the end goal of this long and arduous world tour is to prove that the technologies that make this floating lab self sufficient are durable and reliable enough to meet our energy needs in our homes, cars, and just about anywhere else you can imagine. As always, thanks so much for watching. I'm your host, Jesse girl. Stay safe out there, everybody. [MUSIC]

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