By Keith Henderson at September 20, 2011 07:53
Filed Under: Research & Development

Just over a year ago Just over a year ago Ohori Capital Pty. Ltd. established a company in Fukuoka, Japan, called Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP) with the aim of developing power and propulsion solutions using green technology for use onboard a variety of vessels and ships.

The company is developing a wind power and solar energy system for use onboard ocean going vessels such as bulk carriers and cruise ships. Called the Aquarius System it is designed from the outset for ships that operate at sea/ocean and is not just a scaled up version of a  solution designed for small inshore vessels. Another step forward in the development of the Aquarius System was made recently when work began on the detailed design of the wind and solar sail panels.

Caption: Impression of the Aquarius Wind and Solar Power System on a large bulk carrier vessel.
The rigid sails and solar modules make the vessel part solar ship and part sailing ship.
Image credit: Eco Marine Power Co., Ltd.

The Aquarius Wind and Solar Power System is an advanced integrated system of rigid sails and solar panels that will allow ships to use renewable, CO2 free sources at sea by utilizing the energy provided by wind and sun. The array of rigid sails are also solar panels, always kept in optimum position by a computer control system developed by KEI System Pty Ltd of Osaka, Japan, whereby intervention by the crew is kept to a minimum.

When wind conditions are not favorable the solar sails can also be positioned to offer little wind resistance and yet still collect solar energy. The sails may be used when the ship is at anchor or in harbor or can be lowered and stored when not it use or in bad weather.

The Aquarius system is also being designed so that it will be relatively easy to install, will require little ongoing maintenance and offer an attractive ROI (Return on Investment) for shipping companies and ship owners.

Despite being designed for large ships, much of Aquarius’ technology will also be suitable for smaller vessels such as coastal freighters, passenger ferries and tourist boats. A study is also being conducted to determine if it would be feasible to use the system on naval and government vessel such as patrol ships.
Based on a conservative estimate which takes into account days when weather conditions are not favorable for using the system, EMP estimate that on an annual basis the system will reduce fuel consumption on a large ocean going ships of between 10% -20%.

A prototype version of the system is planned to be ready by early 2012.

Comments (2) -


Its good to have a clean ecoenergy  on ships for the environments and also how can the people of the world can mitigate pollutions/wastes/garbages at sea either  coastal or international waters?

R. Agustines

Reynaldo Agustines |     9/20/2011 9:55:44 PM #


      I have developed a model ship that uses wind enery very efficiently and will work with wind from any direction. model was floated in nearby lake and is doing well when wind force is BF scale 5 or more.
I need to study more on this, looking for sponsors and patent rights.

padmanabhan |     9/28/2011 2:37:26 AM #

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