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The crew of five was also traveling during the blockade caused by the Covid-19, so the ship continued to sail in isolation, unable to stop at any port along the way for the sake of the health of the crew. Of course all navigation was done with zero carbon emissions. Extraordinary.The 100-foot catamaran was designed to prove it could work without fossil fuels. It is a high-tech yacht with a central energy management system that coordinates the production and transmission of energy from its solar panels, wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cells to the engine. Three years after it was launched, Energy Observer traveled 23,305 miles and visited 25 countries.This transatlantic trip, however, was special as it is the first time he used a new hydrogen fuel cell developed by Toyota for the project. The fuel cell converts seawater into hydrogen to power the boat. Other power generation systems include two vertical-axis "Ocean Wings" wind turbines that serve as fixed and rotating sails to produce energy while the yacht is running, and its photovoltaic panels that convert and store solar energy during the day.The Energy Observer stopped twice, in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, but the crew remained on board to avoid any possibility of being contaminated with the coronavirus. "There was no possibility of technical pit-stops because of the general blockade," says Victorien Erussard, captain and founder of the project.Due to the length of the route and the isolation, the trip was probably the most challenging of the Energy Observer, but it also demonstrated the value of the combination of energy systems free of fossil fuels. The success of the Toyota fuel cell also shows that it is possible to use it for different types of boats. We hope that in the future more and more companies will choose to produce zero-emission hybrid models in order to safeguard our beautiful seas and with them the whole planet.
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