A boat that fuels itself is setting off around the world from Paris on a six-year journey that its designers hope will serves as a model for emissions-free energy networks of the future.
Energy Observer will use its solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system to power its trip. The 5 million-euro ($5.25 million) boat heads off Saturday from Paris toward the Atlantic.
The futuristic-looking 100-foot boat will rely on sun or wind during the day and tap into its hydrogen reservoirs at night. It produces its own hydrogen through electrolysis of sea water.
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Originally designed in 1983, the boat enjoyed a successful career in open-sea sailing races before skippers Frederic Dahirel and Victorien Erussard and a French research institute converted it into the Energy Observer project.