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Eco Marine Power (EMP) announced that it has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution, in co-operation with strategic partners and ship owner Hisafuku Kisen K.K. of Onomichi, Japan.

This work will lead to the world’s first installation of an integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships, using EMP’s technologies. This is a major step forward towards a more sustainable future for shipping, the company noted.

Currently underway is a feasibility study involving several large bulk carriers including the Belgrano, Nord Gemini and Bulk Chile, where the total amount of solar power that could be installed on each vessel will be determined. On-board testing & 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 that will enable ships to tap into renewable energy by harnessing the power provided by the wind and sun. The use of these alternative sources of power and propulsion will reduce fuel consumption, lower air pollution and cut CO2 emissions.

The rigid sails used by Aquarius MRE are based on EMP’s EnergySail technology. These renewable energy devices can even be used when a ship is at anchor or in harbour. Each EnergySail can be configured with a mix of sensors, photovoltaic panels or other power generation devices.

Mr. Chikashi Yamane, President of Hisafuku Kisen, stated: “Our company is pleased to be part of this exciting project which is leading the way towards the use of renewable energy related technologies on ships.”


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