Shipping company tests solar for cargo ships - Smart Energy Decisions

Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 2, 2018

Shipping company tests solar for cargo ships

The world’s first integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships is being tested by a new partnership between Eco Marine Power and Japanese shipowner Hisafuku Kisen K.K. of Onomichi. The solution, called Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy, will allow ships to make use of solar energy both while in port and while they sail.

Climate Action reported that the company will combine its EnergySails technology, which includes solar panels mounted on the covers of large bulk carrier ships, with energy storage applications controlled with a computer-based monitoring system. The rigid sails can be configured with photovoltaic panels or a mix of sensors. Climate Action reported the company as stating that "other power generation devices" can be applied including wind turbines. 

Feasibility studies will be conducted during this year using multiple large bulk carrier ships in order to estimate the share of energy needs that can be met through solar power during each trip and the number of solar arrays that can be installed. Once those results are analyzed, one ship will be selected for the complete installation of the new system; this ship will then be monitored for 12 to 18 months to identify the benefits and measure the cost reductions the technology can achieve.

It is estimated that a ship’s energy consumption could be reduced by up to 75 percent by applying existing technologies and operational measures. Greg Atkinson, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Eco Marine Power, said: “We believe Aquarius MRE will pave the way towards the widespread adoption of renewable energy on ships”.

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