Solbian becomes Official Supplier of Energy Observer

Solbian becomes Official Supplier of Energy Observer


As the first hydrogen vessel around the world, Energy Observer is in Hamburg for its 36th stopover, the team is proud to announce the arrival of a new technology partner, Solbian. 

This electrically-powered vessel of the future emits no greenhouse gases or fine particles. Its 6-year Odyssey for the Future aims to highlight the solutions developed by the pioneers of ecological transition. 

After more than 10 000 nautical miles covered in 2017 and 2018, the expedition continues in 2019 in Northern Europe. A journey during which Energy Observer equipped itself with brand new solar panels made by Solbian, Italian company renowned for the flexibility and durability of its products.

Energy Observer © Energy Observer - Antoine Drancey

 Innovative solar panels for the vessel of the future

A real floating laboratory, Energy Observer operates thanks to a mix of 3 energy sources: solar, wind and hydroelectric. During the first two years of sailing, solar power proved to be the first source of energy production on board. 

Two different technologies co-exist: adaptable panels and bi-facial panels. Adaptable panels, following the ship's curvatures, have been supplied by Solbian. Thanks to the patented encapsulation method, they are not only adaptable but also strong and lightweight. While a standard solar panel weighs up to 20kg for 300W, those equipping Energy Observer weigh just 4kg for 300W, a fifth of the traditional panels weight. 

In addition, all the adaptable panels installed on Energy Observer come from the Solbian SP series, mono-crystalline silicon-based modules which cells achieve a record conversion rate of 24% of sunlight into electricity. It is precisely for this high-performance technology that the ship integrated, during its winter 2018 refit, 27m2 of additional solar panels, all manufactured by Solbian.

"Solbian solar panels are essential to this project, they are light, flexible and rugged allowing us to harvest energy from nature in every weather condition”, Hugo Devedeux, Systems engineer at Energy Observer.

Energy Observer - Arrival in Hamburg © Energy Observer - Marta Sostres

 Solbian, a promise of energy independence 

Over time, innovation, efficiency and lightness have become the essential characteristics of Solbian products. With its motto "Freedom powered by the Sun", the company affirms its most cherished wish: guarantee energy independence to all its customers. “Our participation in the Energy Observer project is a milestone that naturally fits into our path as a company, what connects us to Energy Observer is a shared vision: a better future starts with greater respect for the environment” says Solbian CEO, Luca Bonci.

About Energy Observer

Energy Observer is the first hydrogen vessel that emits no greenhouse gases, fine particles or noise. 
A veritable experimental platform for future energies. With a combination of three sources of renewable energies (sun, wind, hydro-kinetic) and two forms of storage (batteries and hydrogen), it is a symbol of an energetic revolution already moving forward, adaptable to all territories and all latitudes. The vessel’s mission is to test these cutting- edge technologies in extreme conditions, to allow concrete feedback on this intelligent energy system. 

Energy Observer is currently conducting a worldwide tour called “the Odyssey for the Future” that will last six years (2017-2022). During this time, it will visit 50 countries and stop in 101 ports to raise public awareness about key aspects of the environmental transition, in particular: renewable energies, biodiversity, mobility, and circular economy, through the stopovers made by this traveling village, on social media, and in a series of documentaries. This world tour is led by Victorien Erussard, founder, captain and France chief ambassador for the UN's 17 sustainable development goals, with him Jérôme Delafosse, expedition leader and film director of the documentary series.

Energy Observer received the High Patronage of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, as well as the official support from the European Union, UNESCO and IRENA.

Design: Tembo