Japanese automaker Toyota has developed a fuel cell system for maritime applications and will install the system on the electrically propelled catamaran Energy Observer.
The vessel is being used as a showcase for energy transition solutions, and left Saint Malo in France in June 2017 on a voyage that will include calls in 101 ports in 50 countries.
Toyota’s fuel cell system was first introduced in the Toyota Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, and the maritime-specific fuel cell system was developed by Toyota Technical Centre Europe, with a re-design of the Mirai system, followed by the build and installation of the compact fuel cell module.
Currently, the system is undergoing its final full power testing at sea prior to the Energy Observer setting sail from Saint Malo in February on its 2020 tour.
“We are very proud to embark the Toyota Fuel Cell System on our oceans passages, and test it in the roughest conditions. After three years and nearly 20,000 nautical miles of development, the Energy Observer energy supply and storage system is now very reliable and we look forward to the next step of the project : Get a reliable and affordable system available for our maritime community,” said Victorien Erussard, founder and captain of Energy Observer.
“We believe that the Toyota Fuel Cell System is the perfect component for this, industrially produced, efficient and safe. Being an ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our mission is to promote clean energy solutions and we share with Toyota the same vision for a hydrogen society,” Erussard added.