Solar Focus in Further Development of Renewable Marine Energy System

Monday October 12, 2015

Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP) is focusing on the solar component of its wind and solar marine propulsion system, as the Japan-based company moves towards commercialisation of its Aquarius MRE renewable energy solution, Greg Atkinson, EMP's Director & Chief Technology Officer, has told Ship & Bunker.

In October 2014 EMP installed its fuel-saving management and automation system, Aquarius MAS, along with an integrated solar panel array on the Greek ferry Blue Star Delos.

"The Aquarius MAS + Solar system package that was installed on Blue Star Delos is essentially the solar power part of Aquarius MRE," said Atkinson.

"As was reported earlier this year we carried out two days of evaluation in May and were very pleased with the results. So in reality we have actually begun sea trials of part of the Aquarius MRE System."

The wind power part of the system, the solar enabled rigid "EnergySail" is also due to be developed further.

"EMP is currently planning an upgrade to the EnergySail MK 1 prototype to test additional features and sensors. Once this testing has been completed a MK 2 version will be built in Hiroshima and then used for sea trials," said Atkinson.

"In addition EMP and KEI System will work on an updated version of the software for the EnergySail ACS. (automated control system)."

The company was recently granted a patent in Japan related to its Aquarius MRE system, and Atkinson says it has another patent application pending covering the EnergySail in addition to having filed a patent in the USA.

Overall, Atkinson is positive over progress and says he is not under any pressure to get the product to market before it is ready.

"We are not rushing to get the complete Aquarius MRE System into full commercial service. Instead we are listening to ship owners, shipyards and others to fine tune to design and if needed we will make changes so that it better suits the market needs even if this means delaying the commercial release date," he says.

"We will be looking to attract investors in 2016 and expand our sales and marketing network."