Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. announced today that work has begun on the detailed design of the wind and solar power solution for ocean going ships called 'Aquarius'. This system will help the shipping industry reduce it's carbon footprint, lower noxious emissions from ships and save shipping companies money by reducing fuel costs. Aquarius is unique in that it will not require a major re-design of existing bulk carriers, tankers or other large merchant ships and could be in some cases, fitted to existing vessels.
The Aquarius system uses a system of rigid sails fitted with solar modules to harness the power of the wind and sun. It is designed to work alongside other fuel saving technologies in order to help drive the shipping industry towards a greener marine future.
The control system is being developed by KEI Systems of Osaka, Japan, and this will raise, lower and position the rigid sails so that they can use wind power to help move a ship through the water and also collect solar energy via the array of attached solar modules.
Greg Atkinson, who is heading the R&D side of the project commented: "The focus of the design project has been to develop a way to utilise wind and solar power on-board ships in a practical, safe and cost effective way. We have now reached a point where we believe we have a design that can do that".
The Aquarius system is also being designed in such a way so that it can be easily scaled up or down to suit ships of vary sizes from large Capesize bulk carriers to coastal vessels of around 500 tonnes. The same system components are used no matter what size vessel it fitted to, this will make it easier to maintain and service especially for owners operators of shipping fleets.