Ship Design Harnesses Solar Power on Rigid Sails

Byline: The Log Staff

Ship Design Harnesses Solar Power on Rigid Sails

FUKUOKA, Japan — Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. has announced the development of a rigid sail design that incorporates solar panels, which the company said will be able to harness both wind and solar energy to provide auxiliary power for large ships — thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The Aquarius System rigid sails are designed to be used in a multi-panel/sail array to allow ships to generate power at sea, at anchor or even when a ship is in the harbor.

According to Eco Marine Power, “Each sail panel will be positioned by a computer control system being
developed by KEI System Pty. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, and the sails can be lowered and stored when not in use. When wind conditions are not favorable, they can also be positioned to offer little wind resistance and yet still collect solar energy.”

The dual-source alternative energy system with its movable panels has major advantages over previous deck-mounted solar panels, the company said in a statement, adding, “Eco Marine Power believes the Aquarius System will also offer an attractive return on investment for shipping lines.

“The Aquarius System is already gaining international attention and was a finalist in this year’s Sustainable Shipping Awards,” the company said. “The system looks set to make an impact on world shipping in the years ahead and will help reduce harmful gas emissions on a global scale.”

Eco Marine Power is currently working on a number of marine design projects, including the solar-electric hybrid marine power vessel Tonbo and the eco-solar ferry Medaka.

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