Toyota will introduce a fuel cell system in shipsFebruary 3, 2020
A former racing catamaran transformed into the ship of the future, the Energy Observer has sailed into an odyssey around the world as the first energetically autonomous hydrogen vessel.
Today Toyota, an official partner of the Energy Observer and an avid supporter of their project from the very beginning, announces the development of a fuel cell system for marine vessels. For the first time, an innovative development was applied on the Energy Observer catamaran.
Departing from the French port of Saint-Malo in June 2017, the Energy Observer is the electric ship of the future, using a combination of renewable energy and an on-board system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater. The ship’s operators aim to meet people from 50 countries and 101 ports during their voyages in order to prove that a cleaner world is not only possible, but that innovation can open some doors to a new economic expansion.
Previously, Toyota’s fuel cell system, first introduced at Toyota Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, has proven its worth as a power plant for cars. Recently, however, the company has been exploring the possibility of using its fuel cell system in other vehicles such as buses and trucks.
A dedicated marine fuel system was developed by Toyota Technical Center Europe in just 7 months. This required the restructuring of the entire installation, followed by assembly and installation of a compact fuel cell module. All of this was achieved with components first introduced in the Toyota Mirai, which were integrated into a more compact module, suitable for marine applications. The project successfully demonstrates the adaptability of Toyota’s fuel cell technology for a variety of applications, including off-road vehicles.
To ensure compatibility, the Toyota fuel cell module was tested with the Energy Observer when the boat was docked at the end of last year. The system is currently undergoing its final test at full capacity at sea before the Energy Observer officially departs from the port of Saint-Malo. For the Energy Observer, it is of particular value to use Toyota’s marine fuel cells, which can provide more power, efficiency and reliability, as its tour itinerary includes crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
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