Zero-emission catamaran completes seven-year experimental voyage

Energy Observer tested the viability of propulsion chain system that will be used onboard Europe’s first passenger electro-hydrogen catamaran

Zero-emission catamaran completes seven-year experimental voyage

Green Navy

By Alex Smith |

A zero-emission laboratory catamaran, Energy Observer, has completed a seven-year, 68,000 nautical mile voyage, during which it tested a range of clean energy technologies and solutions.

The vessel was designed and built by Green Navy, a French company that is planning to launch Prometeo, Europe’s first electro-hydrogen propulsion catamaran for commercial passenger activities. The test voyage enabled Green Navy to experiment with a variety of solutions that could be used onboard Prometeo, which is now under construction in Brittany, France ahead of its 2025 launch.

Among its experiments, Energy Observer tested a propulsion chain made up of two 42 kilowatt electric motors designed by Phase Automation, which provided a total of 115 horsepower. According to Green Navy, the propulsion chain encountered no faults during the voyage.

“It was incredible to reunite with members of the team that I have not seen for seven years,” said naval architect Guy Saillard, founding partner of Green Navy. “I spoke with Didier Bouix, managing director of EOConcept, and naval architect Nicolas Berthelot, who both worked on the design and installation of the entire energy system aboard the boat. They declared that my propulsion chain worked perfectly, with the electric engines and reduction system completing 1.4 billion revolutions without problems.”

Other experiments included the use of solar panels, generating wind power, the onboard creation of hydrogen fuel, and more

“It is vitally important that we have these solid credentials to underpin Prometeo,” said Saillard. “This endorsement of the technologies involved is of enormous significance to Green Navy, and to every company involved with the decarbonisation of maritime transport.”

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