Eco Marine Power, ClassNK Collaborate on Solar Sail Marine Power Tech

Wednesday November 7, 2018

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has begun a collaboration with ClassNK as part of plans to commercialize its wind and solar marine power solutions.

Specifically, ClassNK will confirm design requirements and issues related to sea trials.

"The goal is to pave the way to the full commercial production of the EnergySail and thus complete the preparation of technologies required for the release of EMP's Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy or Aquarius MRE solution," says EMP.

Areas of collaboration between Eco Marine Power and ClassNK will include operation of the automated control system, software and hardware safety measures, and installation methods.

Perhaps most well known for its development of rigid solar sails, EMP ultimately hopes its technology can help vessels harness emission-free power to lower bunker consumption and reduce CO2 emissions from ships.

"The collaboration with ClassNK is a very important part of our development strategy as we work towards verifying the operation of our EnergySail both ashore and on a ship during sea trials. We also want to make sure we don't repeat the mistakes made during the development of previous sail-assisted or wind-assisted propulsion solutions, especially in terms of operability," said Greg Atkinson, Chief Technology Officer at Eco Marine Power.

"From our point of view it's not a race to be first and repeat what has been done before; instead our focus is on innovation with an emphasis on quality and long term performance."

Emissions-free power and propulsion technologies are widely expected to play a growing role in marine's energy mix in the coming years, particularly since IMO's pledged earlier this year to commit not only to meeting its IMO2050 pledge to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping but to phasing them out as soon as possible in this century "as a matter of urgency."