Fukuoka: The founder of one of Japan’s leading green ship innovators says today that it is vital he and his green peers do not overhype what they can do.
Greg Atkinson is a director and founder of Eco Marine Power. Before forming Eco Marine Power in July 2010 he spent 12 years in the telecommunications industry, where he held senior management roles for a number of major multinational companies in Australia and Japan.
Prior to his career in the telecommunications sector, he served 10 years in the Royal Australian Navy in electronics engineering.
He has been living in Japan on and off since 1997 and is currently based in Fukuoka.
“Technology developers such as Eco Marine Power must not overhype what our solutions can do and be open and honest with shipowners and shipyards. If we build trust with them and prove our technologies, then this will help maintain the green shipping trend,” Atkinson tells Maritime CEO.
The company’s major focus at the moment is the promotion of its Aquarius Marine Solar Power and Aquarius Management & Automation solutions.
Its marine solar power solution has just completed a trial on the high speed car and passenger ferry – Blue Star Delos – in Greece.
The two days of testing and evaluation were conducted as Blue Star Delos sailed on its route though the Aegean Sea from Piraeus to Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini and then back to the Port of Piraeus via Ios, Naxos and Paros once again. Each voyage takes around 16 hours with Delos providing the various island communities with a vital transport link as well transporting thousands of tourists to and from these popular vacation destinations in the Greek islands.
On each evaluation voyage it was calculated that the output from the Aquarius MAS + Solar installation was approximately 12.6 kWhr. The system was also easily capable of charging the battery pack plus supplying power to a test load of 24V DC LED lights both during the day and night.
“We are seeing increased interest in our solar power solutions for shipping and we plan to develop further variations and add other technologies, such as our EnergySail, into the mix of technologies that the solution can include,” Atkinson says.
The company is about to build its next EnergySail prototype which will be used for sea trials.
The firm is also working with the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan to promote a range of batteries which are just being released for shipping and marine applications.
Eco Marine Power has also started offering a ship renewable energy survey service.
Taking Eco Marine Power forward, Atkinson says will require some changes in mindsets, not just from owners but by other marine equipment suppliers.
“It would be good,” he says, “if some of the larger marine equipment manufacturers cooperated with us more rather than seeing us as just playing in the sandpit.”