Energy Observer and Toyota to Change the Energy World Forever
What is Energy Observer?
Energy Observer is the first boat in the world that works with hydrogen and does not have any emissions. This boat does not release any fine particles into the atmosphere and does not make any noise either. The purpose of designing Energy Observer was to prove to the world that it is possible to build a vehicle that does not harm nature in any way. With that in mind, the project started in 2013, and in 2017, the vessel finally hit the water.
How does Energy Observer work?
Energy Observer has several energy sources that the sailors on board choose based on the water and weather conditions. These sources are solar, wind, and hydropower.
Energy Observer initially had two vertical wind turbines on board that helped with power generation in favorable conditions. However, in 2019, the turbines were replaced with sails, which the crew calls Ocean Wings. The Ocean Winds are made of water-proof cloth; they are attached to two carbon fiber pylons on the boat. The Ocean Wings move autonomously according to the strength and direction of the wind. They can generate enough power to run the boat’s engines. But they also power all the appliances on board the ship. For example, if one of the crew members wants to use the oven or TV, power must be diverted from the engines to turn these appliances on.
There are 168 square meters of solar panels on board the boat. These panels are two-sided so that they can absorb the sun’s reflection on the surface of the water on cloudless days too. These panels produce about 28 kW of power, which is enough to keep the batteries charged.
Energy Observer uses hydrogen as a fuel to stay 100% emission-free. When the Ocean Wings and Solar panels fail to keep the batteries charged, the hydrogen fuel cells kick in and recharge the battery.
To function sustainably, the boat has the technology to take the necessary hydrogen from the seawater. There is a desalinator, electrolyzer, and a compressor on board Energy Observer. These devices together take the hydrogen molecules from the seawater and then change it into energy.
What roles does Toyota play in Energy Observer’s development?
Toyota is one of the few companies that believe hydrogen can be the next big thing in the energy world. Therefore, this company has partnered with Energy Observer to develop efficient hydrogen fuel cells to be used on ships and boats. Toyota has some long-term goals with these fuel cells that, if successful, would make this company the only name in the clean energy industry.
What are the next steps for Toyota?
Toyota started its cooperation with Energy Observer in order to fulfill some long-awaited dream. First, this company wants to prove to the world that silent, emission-free riverboats are possible to build. The next big step for Toyota on this road is to use these fuel cells on a 40 feet long superyacht called HYNOVA 40.
Second, Toyota wants to show to the world that hydrogen fuel cells are possible to be used on cars as well. In Energy Observer’s London event in 2020, Toyota reminded everybody that it had sold about 10,000 vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells up to now. Also, there are several hydrogen-fueling stations already working in Japan and California, US.
How does hydrogen fuel affect Toyota’s stock value?
With its focus on innovation and new technologies, Toyota has always had something to say in the global markets. It means that this company’s stock value has been on the rise since it started to work in 1984. Currently, Toyota’s shares are being sold at $142.130. However, forecasts show that this price will be several times higher in the next few years. In fact, according to GOV capital, it is going to go as high as nearly $900 by 2025. This increase is probably due to Toyota’s investment in alternative energy projects such as Energy Observer. One thing is for sure, in any case. When Toyota’s hydrogen-fueled yachts, cars, and even planes hit the market, nothing stops this Japanese company anymore.