Technology firm Eco Marine Power (EMP) has announced that the EnergySail, a sail-assisted propulsion and solar power device for ships, is ready for demonstration and evaluation testing in Japan, according to Seatrade Maritime News.
Fukuoka-based EMP’s EnergySail demonstration and test unit was unveiled at the Onomichi Marine Tech Test Centre (MTTC) in Japan. This full-scale version of the EnergySail is an upgrade of the pre-production unit and represents one of the smaller types of EnergySail that will be put into commercial service.
The EnergySail is a core sub-system of EMP’s Aquarius MRE (marine renewable energy) solution, which combines wind, solar, energy storage, and marine computer technologies into a scalable clean energy system for a wide range of ships.
Greg Atkinson, chief technology officer at EMP, says: “We have spent some years now working towards the commercial deployment of our EnergySail rather than simply installing a prototype onto a ship. This is because we have been focused on getting a class-approved and cost-effective sail-assisted propulsion system ready that can also be integrated with other systems via our Aquarius MRE solution.”
The solar power sub-system of Aquarius MRE has already been installed on ships and the next step will be to combine this with the EnergySail technology. A project to plan and install a complete Aquarius MRE solution is underway and it is anticipated that the installation of equipment will commence this year, according to Seatrade Maritime News.
The patented EnergySail can be fitted with marine-grade solar panels and is therefore capable of providing ships with a zero emissions source of supplementary propulsive power and electrical power.
“Installing an integrated class-approved renewable energy system with the EnergySail’s as a source of zero emissions power will be a major step forward in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping,” concludes Greg.