Toyota’s fuel cell module is not new. Do you remember Energy Observer, the 30-meter boat that navigates without any gasoline? (read the article here). Well, the hydrogen catamaran has been tested for over 7,000 nautical miles, making several ocean crossings. Today, Toyota fuel cell technology, integrated into the Hydrogen Range Extender (REXH2) from Energy Observer Developments (EODev) arrives on a pleasure boat.
Hynova 40: the hydrogen boat
Imagine a quiet boat without CO2 or particulate emissions. Here, the REXH2 module is a marine hydrogen power solution based on Toyota’s fuel cell technology. Energy Observer Developments presented the REXH2 module mounted on Hynova 40, a 12 meter Hynova Yachts. A classical MedBoat which can be used both as a pleasure boat and a superyacht tender.
The differences with the 30-meter hydrogen catamaran
While the main propulsion of the Energy Observer catamaran comes from electricity generated directly from solar and wind power, the 12-meter Hynova 40 is battery-powered. It is supported by the Hydrogen Range Extender with fuel cell technology from Toyota.
The Hynova 40 is the first pleasure motorboat equipped with the Toyota fuel cell system. In fact, it introduces hybrid-electric technology (powered by zero-emission hydrogen) in the pleasure boats.
How the Toyota fuel cell module works
The Toyota fuel cell module inside the REXH2 delivers up to 60 kW rated net power and is based on the existing fuel cell technology from the Toyota Mirai. The R&D carried out by the EODev and Toyota teams has made it possible to perfectly adapt the technology to the challenging conditions of the marine environment.
A machine like the Toyota Mirai (and like the boat on which these tests will be conducted) is driven by an electric motor powered by current. This current is generated by fuel cells with a chemical reaction that instead of producing CO2 in the atmosphere, releases water. In addition, hydrogen is clean, transportable, and storable. Generating electricity directly in the car does not require long recharges.
Toyota and hydrogen
Toyota set up the European Fuel Cell Business Group, a business unit expressly dedicated to hydrogen to create what the company calls “the hydrogen society”, a reality where the energy vector, consisting of the chemical element of which nature is richer, becomes central.
The European Fuel Cell Business Group, directed by Thiebault Paquet, is based in Brussels. This is because there the European Commission and other EU institutions have already prepared for hydrogen a map that provides for major investments within the Green Deal and to achieve the strategic continental goal of zero CO2 footprint in 2050.
“We welcome the opportunity – says Thiebault Paquet – to further expand the testing of our hydrogen technology to another maritime application. Following the integration of our Fuel Cell module in the Energy Observer boat, we have further adjusted the module to fit in the EODev Hydrogen Range Extender. Together with the EODev team, we can demonstrate that zero emissions and zero noise technologies for different types of mobility and power applications are already possible today. Making the different applications available is a great opportunity to decarbonise energy usage already today and contribute to the development of the hydrogen society”
Together with the supply of fuel cell modules, toyota Motor Europe’s Fuel Cell Business Unit provides technical support and expertise to ensure the optimal use of the module.