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World’s first use of patented rigid sail and solar power system to commence next year

World’s first use of patented rigid sail and solar power system to commence next year

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Eco Marine Power (EMP) has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution in co-operation with strategic partners and shipowner Hisafuku Kisen of Onomichi, Japan. This preparatory work will lead to the world’s first installation of an integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships using EMP’s patented technologies including the EnergySail.

“This is a major step forward towards a more sustainable future for shipping and is expected to result in the wider deployment of EMP’s solutions on ships ranging from coastal cargo vessels to bulk ore carriers and cruise ships,” EMP said in a release today.

Currently underway is a feasibility study involving several large bulk carriers including the Belgrano, Nord Gemini and Bulk Chile. For each ship an estimate of the propulsive power that could be provided by an EnergySail array will be prepared according to the routes they operate on. In addition the total amount of solar power that could be installed on each vessel will be determined. Onboard testing and data collection will also be undertaken as required.

After the feasibility study is completed one ship will be selected for the sea trials phase. During this phase a trial configuration that will incorporate all the elements of Aquarius MRE will be installed and evaluated during a period of approximately 12 to 18 months.

Aquarius MRE is an advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules and marine computers.

Commenting on this latest development Greg Atkinson, chief technology officer and founder of EMP, said, “We believe Aquarius MRE will pave the way to the widespread adoption of renewable energy on ships.”

The production of each EnergySail to be used during the sea trials will be undertaken at the workshops of Teramoto Iron Works in Onomichi. This company was also involved in the production of rigid sails in the 1980s.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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