Energy Observer Developments to present range extender hydrogen motor

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Energy Observer Developments (EODev) will present at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September its REXH2 (Range Extender Hydrogen) solution, said by the company to be the first production electro-hydrogen tender to be launched on the market.

The REXH2 is billed as a modular solution developed around Toyota’s latest generation fuel cell, making silent maritime and river mobility without emissions of CO2  and fine particles possible. EODev’s application is said to ensure the propulsion and operation of onboard systems using hydrogen and has been tested in real conditions aboard the Energy Observer vessel over more than 7,000 nautical miles.

Developed onboard the Hynova 40, a 12m boat designed by Chloé Zaied, founder and managing director of Hynova Yachts, the vessel can be used as a day-boat or superyacht with a capacity of 12 passengers.

The solution employs the TModule, the latest Toyota fuel cell technology, which can supply up to 80kW, supplemented by three 44kW LiFePO (Lithium-Iron-Phospate) batteries designed by EVE Systems and approved for maritime use, and two BorgWarner electric motors developing a power of 184kW each (approximately 2 x 250hp in diesel equivalent).

The set has been designed to allow the boat, which weighs around nine metric tons, to reach 22kts at maximum speed and have a working speed of 12kts. The operating speed limit with the fuel cell alone is 8kts, the boat being able to cover up to 69 miles at 6kts in full autonomy, combining the performance of the cell and batteries.

Jérémie Lagarrigue, managing director, EODev, said, “The whole team did a wonderful job, not only to design this boat but also to bring all the partners onboard for this challenge. This prototype and its REXH2 are the precursors of tomorrow’s pleasure boating, paving the

way for the yachting world to become one of the main players in the energy transition, for maritime mobility to be in harmony with the marine environment.”

The electricity produced onboard the Hynova 40 by the REXH2 fuel cell is used directly to supply energy for the boat’s propulsion chain via an electric motor and is also stored in batteries, which can make it available for propulsion and onboard systems, as needed.

The hydrogen gas that feeds the system is stored in compressed form, at 350 bar, in specially designed tanks placed in the body of the boat, on a part located outside the structure of the vessel so as to benefit from a direct air intake.

The Hynova 40 will, in this first configuration, have three tanks with a total capacity of 22.5kg of hydrogen.

The entire system is managed by an automated Power Management System specifically developed by EODev, which calculates the remaining range according to the usage profile and the expected average speed, like in a car.

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