Low Emission Solar-Hybrid Ferry
Low emission passenger ferries are needed on the world's urban waterways, marine parks and tourist areas. That's why Eco Marine Power is currently working with a number of development partners on the 'Tonbo' - a solar electric hybrid propulsion ferry that will incorporate the latest green and eco-friendly marine technologies.
The Tonbo will use a hybrid marine power (HMP) system comined with a solar-electric power system to provide the energy needed for both propulsion and on-board requirements for such things as lighting & cooling etc. It is also being designed to be friendly to the environment and also reduce operational costs for vessel owners by slashing fuels costs.
The Tonbo solar electric ferry will use the latest Lithium battery technology and will be able to charge these batteries by using the innovative solar panel system or array mounted on the roof or by using shore power when alongside. In addition, an on-board low emission generator will provide a back-up means to recharge the batteries as required.
The lightweight, high efficiency marine grade solar panels used by Tonbo can be moved to maximise energy from the sun or be lowered so the vessel can move under low bridges, if high winds are present or when the vessel is not in use.
The initial Tonbo design is focused on a 200-250 passenger solar ferry or sightseeing vessel and includes an open deck area at the rear and an observation area at the front. However the design is very flexible and the basic Tonbo concept could be applied to other vessels such as workboats, cruise vessels and even fishing boats。
When cruising at low speeds (around 8 knots or less) the Tonbo will be able to operate in all-electric mode using the on-board batteries. This will allow it to move almost silently across the water - ideal for evening cocktail cruises or sightseeing trips.
On-board Marine Computer System
The solar panel array will be positioned via an innovative control system currently being developed by Eco Marine Power and it's development partner KEI System of Osaka, Japan. A data management and performance monitoring system will also be installed.The vessel itself will be constructed from marine grade aluminium and recycled materials will be used wherever possible.
The Tonbo solar hybrid power ferry project is already attracting worldwide interest and was nominated for the prestigious Environmental Innovation Award at the 2011 Sustainable Shipping Awards in London.
It's another example that highlights how Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of developing sustainable shipping solutions for a greener marine future.
Technologies utilised on the Tonbo Solar Hybrid Ferry will also be applied to other EMP projects such as the Aquarius USV (unmanned surface vessel) and Aquarius Eco Ship.Hopefully in the not too distant future - eco-friendly, low emission vessels like the Tonbo will be a frequent sight on waterways the world over.
Without doubt, the Tonbo Solar Hybrid Ferry is yet another revolutionary vessel design concept from Eco Marine Power.
Concept by Greg Atkinson. Eco Marine Power. All rights reserved.