Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nevermind the Bastille - French to Storm Mediterranean with Hydrogen Yacht

Artist rendition of the world's first hydrogen yacht.
The Zero CO2 - the world’s first-hydrogen powered yacht - is expected to set sail around the Mediterranean Sea next March.

While most sailboats are typically by nature, a carbon-free form of transportation the Zero CO2 will have an electric motor driven by a hydrogen fuel cell. All other on-board energy needs on the Zero CO2 are to be obtained from renewable energy sources.

Zero CO2 is not just a yacht, its also a floating 12 meter laboratory.

The integrated on-board lab will study air and waterborne pollutants on its 10 month research mission with an eye to "develop and promote new energy sources that will replace fossil fuels and consequently lead to a reduction in carbon emissions and an improvement with regards to the greenhouse effect."

Following trial runs in Savoie, France Zero CO2 will be launched in the Mediterranean off the southern coast of France and head for Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Tunisia, Crete, Turkey, the Greek coast, Montenegro, Croatia, the Italian coast, Spain, and the Balearic Islands before returning to Marseilles in December, 2010.

During the mission researchers will also study the feasibility of green hydrogen production. This form of hydrogen would be produced by solar panels and wind turbines mounted on the roofs of port-side buildings.

The odyssey is also a vehicle to raise climate change awareness amongst sailors and promote respect for maritime environment. Now under construction, the boat is to debut at the Paris Boat Show in December.

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