EMP has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy solution on vessels including the Bulk Chile (pictured). Image Credit: EMP
Eco Marine Power (EMP) today announced that, in co-operation with its strategic partner and Japan-based ship owner Hisafuku Kisen K.K. (Hisafuku Kisen), it has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution - a project said to be expected to result in the world's first installation of an integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships using EMP 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," said EMP.
A feasibility study involving several large bulk carriers including the Belgrano, Nord Gemini, and Bulk Chile is currently underway, with an estimate of the propulsive power that could be provided by an EnergySail arrangement being prepared for each ship according to the routes on which they operate.
In addition, the total amount of solar power that could be installed on each vessel will be assessed, and onboard testing and data collection will be conducted.
Following the feasibility study, one ship will be selected for the sea trials phase, at which point a trial configuration that incorporates all the elements of Aquarius MRE will be installed and evaluated over a period of approximately 12 to 18 months.
This is a major step forward towards a more sustainable future for shipping
As Ship & Bunker has reported, Aquarius MRE is an integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules, and marine computers intended to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
"It's great that we are able to co-operate with Hisafuku Kisen and we very much appreciate their cooperation in helping us move this important project towards sea trials. We also appreciate the support of our strategic partners and together we believe Aquarius MRE will pave the way to the widespread adoption of renewable energy on ships," said Greg Atkinson, CTO and Founder of EMP.
Last year, EMP said it expected its wind and solar power marine propulsion system will produce at least 10 percent bunker savings, or around 1,000 metric tonnes (mt) per year for a typical large commercial vessel.