Company Says Wind Energy Could Mean Big Fuel Savings

Tuesday November 13, 2012

Solar Sailor Holdings, an Australian company that focuses on renewable energy for shipping says it has developed a software model that can determine how much fuel ships could save by using wind and solar power on particular voyages.

The model estimates that commercial shipping operators could save $150,000 to $240,000 in fuel on a Panamax bulker Newcastle Shanghai return voyage, or $296,000 to $473,000 on a Los Angeles to Shanghai return voyage.

Solar Sailor bases the calculations on the use of its technology, which involves rigid wing sails that can open up from a tiny wing to a much larger one.

"There is immense energy in the oceans which can be harvested and used by ships and we have the technology to efficiently harvest that energy," said CEO Robert Dane.

Solar Sailor says its technology has a number of applications, including a 100 passenger ferry that operates on Newcastle Harbour, using solar and wind power, as well as electricity from the grid.

The company is looking into the use of its systems on large commercial ships and has developed a concept that it says could have a two- to three-year payback on investment from fuel savings for travel between Southern and Northern Hemisphere ports.

Japan's Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP), another company looking to harness the power of wind and solar for vessel power, today outlined details of the modified version of its Aquarius MRE System for use on naval and coast guard ships.