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Aquarius MRE System FAQ

Aquarius MRE System and EnergySail - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). For general questions about Eco Marine Power please see our Company Frequently Asked Questions page.

For further information about the Aquarius MRE System please see the Aquarius Wind, Solar Marine Power System webpage.

What is the Aquarius MRE System?

The Aquarius MRE System (MRE - Marine Renewable Energy) is an advanced integrated system of rigid but movable sails, computer systems, renewable energy devices & energy storage modules that will allow ships to tap into renewable energy at sea by harnessing the power provided by the wind and sun. The rigid sails are based on the EnergySail technology developed by EMP.

How much will the system reduce a ships fuel consumption?

We estimate that on an annual basis the system will reduce fuel consumption on a large ocean going ships of between 10% -20%. This is a conservative estimate which takes into account days when weather conditions are not favourable for using the system or when the ship is not at sea. On smaller and/or specialised vessels the fuel savings and emission reductions could be significantly higher.

Is the Aquarius MRE System just for large ships?

Although the system is being initially designed for large ships, much of the technology being developed 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 vessels such as patrol ships.

Is wind power really a viable option on-board large modern ships?

Wind power was used for many centuries to move ships across the oceans but the arrival of the steamship heralded the end of the golden age of the sailing ship.  In the 1970's and 1980's ships in Japan were fitted with rigid sails these proved that the use of rigid sails reduced fuel consumption. You can read more about this topic in Wind and Solar Power for Ships.

Do the rigid sails used by the Aquarius MRE System use wind energy and collect solar energy as well?

The rigid sail or EnergySail designed by Eco Marine Power will help move a ship by using the available wind plus they may collect solar energy during the day if solar panels are fitted. The EnergySail is moved automatically by the control system to best suit the prevailing weather conditions. Please see our EnergySail webpage for more information about this innovative device.

What is a rigid sail? Does it mean the sail does not move?

A rigid sail is simply a sail that is not made entirely from a flexible material like cloth. A rigid sail for example could be made out of marine grade aluminium or a carbon fibre composite material. The EnergySail used by the Aquarius MRE System can be moved to best use the available wind or solar energy. They can also be lowered when a ship is loading/unloading or during storms.

Can the energy collected from the solar panels be stored in batteries?

Yes. The batteries when charged can then be used to power the ship’s operational equipment or alternatively, be used as a power source when at harbour or at anchor. The batteries or energy storage modules can also be used to store energy from other sources such as the ship's generators.

Why should shipping companies use wind and solar power?

Firstly wind and solar power used onboard ships reduces the use of fossil fuels and this results in less air pollution less & greenhouse gas emissions. So simply put, wind and solar power are better for the environment compared to burning oil, diesel fuel or LNG etc.  Secondly less fuel used means reduced operating costs for the owner or operator of the ship. There are also other benefits which we would be pleased to explain these in more detail to ship builders, designers, owners and operators.

Why not just put very big sails on a ship?

Big sails on a ship can cause big problems just as they did during the age of the sailing ship. The aim of the Aquarius MRE System is not only to use wind power on a ship, but also to do it in such a way so that the safety of the crew and vessel are not compromised. In addition the system brings in other technologies such as energy storage, wind power devices & solar modules.

Large flexible sails are suitable for certain types of vessels but our research indicates they are not ideal for large ships such as oil tankers and bulkers.

The EnergySail used by the Aquarius MRE System has been designed so that it is suitable for a wide range of ships from passenger ferries to very large oil tankers and ore carrying ships.

I have seen smaller vessels with rigid sails, why not just put bigger variations of these on a ship?

Ocean going ships are designed differently than those that operate in sheltered waters such as bays, harbours or rivers therefore a wind and solar power solution for these vessels must be designed to take that into account. Rigid wing sails for example work well on small yachts but our research has shown that they are not ideally suited for large ocean going ships.

The sails do not look that big, will it really work?

An EnergySail array is not intended to power the ship alone. On a large ship the main engines will still be needed but the Aquarius MRE System will provide an additional source or power and propulsion to help reduce fuel consumption and airborne emissions including partiiculate matter. The basic technology behind the rigid sail concept was tested & proven on a number of ocean going vessel built in Japan during the 1970’s & 1980’s.

Do the sails move?

Yes, they will move to best suit the prevailing weather conditions.  They can also be lowered during storms or when cargo is being loaded/unloaded.

Is there only one type of EnergySail?

No, there are several variations of the EnergySail in terms of size, shape and features.

When will the system be ready?

The first sub-system, the Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS) is now available and the EnergySail has passed lab tests. Sea trials for the entire system are due to start during 2014 with commercial release due in 2015/2016.

Aquarius MRE System, AquariusUSV & EnergySail are trademarks of Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd.



Eco Marine Power Completes Aquarius MAS + Solar Evaluation Trials on Blue Star Delos

Aquarius MAS + Solar and Aquarius Marine Solar Power ready for commercial release. Fukuoka, Japan – 2nd June 2015 – As a result of the recent successful completion of sea trials on-board the high speed car and passenger ferry, Blue Star Delos, Eco Marine Power (EMP) has now cleared the Aquarius MAS + Solar and Aquarius Marine Solar Power solutions for commercial release. During two days of testing and evaluation on the 17th and 19th May, 2015, the perfor... Read more

Onomichi Marine Tech Center To Be Established

Teramoto Iron Works and Eco Marine Power to establish Marine Technology Test Facility Fukuoka, Japan – 1st May 2015 - Eco Marine Power (EMP) in co-operation with its strategic partner, Teramoto Iron Works Co. Ltd., announced today that the two companies have agreed to establish a development and test facility in Onomichi, Hiroshima, focused on marine technologies for the shipping and offshore industries. The new facility, to be known as the Onomichi Ma... Read more

Marine Solar Power Solution Receives Acceptance

Eco Marine Power's Renewable Energy Solution for Shipping Recognized by ClassNK Fukuoka, Japan - 13th April 2015 - Eco Marine Power (EMP) announced today that it has received acceptance from ClassNK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai) for its Aquarius Marine Solar Power solution as installed on classed vessels. The acceptance of this system is a major step forward for EMP and brings to the shipping market a renewable energy solution that can be integrated with other ... Read more

Triad Ltd and EMP Sign Support Agreement

Support Hub for Eco Marine Power established in Piraeus, Greece.Fukuoka, Japan - 9th December 2014 - As part of its product rollout strategy Eco Marine Power (EMP) announced today that it has signed a support agreement with Theodosiou Bros Ltd (TRIAD Ltd) of Piraeus, Greece.  This agreement between EMP and TRIAD Ltd will lead to the establishment of a technical support hub in Greece from which the companies will be able to provide jointly, a variety... Read more

Aquarius MAS with Marine Solar Power Installed on Blue Star Delos

First ever installation of integrated Aquarius MAS with Marine Solar Power Fukuoka, Japan - 30th October 2014 - Eco Marine Power (EMP) is pleased to announce that together with strategic partners it has installed an Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS) integrated with a marine solar panel array on-board the Blue Star 'Delos'. The Aquarius MAS has been installed as part of a joint renewable energy project with Blue Star Ferries and the approx... Read more

Furukawa Battery Joins Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project

Leading Manufacturer of Energy Storage Solutions Supplies Battery Pack for Shipping Trial Fukuoka, Japan – 7th October 2014 – Eco Marine Power (EMP) announced today that The Furukawa Battery Co. Ltd., has joined the Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project and has supplied batteries for use onboard the ship Blue Star Delos. The ongoing Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project will evaluate in stages, a number of innovative solutions... Read more

Eco Marine Power Short-Listed for Two Ship Efficiency Awards

Fukuoka, Japan - 8th September 2014 - Eco Marine Power is pleased to announce that it has been named as a finalist in two categories of the inaugural Ship Efficiency Awards 2014. The Ship Efficiency Awards 2014, hosted by Lloyd's Register and organised by Fathom, will recognise and celebrate the organisations and individuals within the maritime sector that excel in efficient operations, implement fresh thinking, offer proven efficiency benefits and... Read more

Blue Star Ferries and Eco Marine Power Launch Shipping Renewable Energy Innovation Project

Companies to Jointly Deploy and Evaluate Innovative Marine Renewable Energy Solutions Fukuoka, Japan – 6th August 2014 – Eco Marine Power announced today that it has begun a project to jointly deploy and evaluate with Blue Star Ferries of Greece, a range of innovative renewable energy related technologies for shipping including the Aquarius Management and Automation System (MAS) with an integrated marine solar power system. The Blue Star Delos Renewable ... Read more

MINs Control Systems Solution & Eco Marine Power Sign Agreement

Sales & Technical Support Agreement Signed for Singapore & Myanmar ... Read more

Aquarius USV High Level Design Completed

Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Powered by Renewable Energy Fukuoka, Japan - 27th May 2014 - Eco Marine Power (EMP) today revealed details of its Aquarius Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) and announced that it will begin work related to the construction of a prototype. The Aquarius USV is being developed as a cost-effective unmanned surface vessel (USV) and will incorporate a number of technologies from EMP & its strategic partners. These technologies in... Read more
Hybrid marine power & propulsion solutions save fuel, reduce pollution and are cost effective. Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of developing low emission & fuel efficient solutions for shipping and has a range of innovative technologies available now. Our computer systems also provide a control interface between renewable energy & other power systems on-board ships.

Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of developing and supplying innovative marine renewable energy technologies for shipping which harness the power of the sun & wind. These solutions include our Aquarius MRE System, EnergySail & Aquarius Marine Solar Power which reduce fuel consumption, lower noxious gas emissions and deliver cost benefits.

Eco Marine Power works with shipyards & ship owners to develop energy efficient ferry, workboat, unmanned surface vessels (USV's) and other smaller ship designs that utilize the latest in renewable energy and green shipping technologies. These technologies include flexible solar panels, energy storage solutions, the Aquarius MAS & our innovative EnergySail.

Finding the right solar, wind, electric or hybrid marine power solution can be a daunting task so Eco Marine Power works with shipyards and ship owners to help them find the best system for their needs. EMP also developments low emission & sustainable shipping concepts and designs using marine renewable energy technologies & advanced computer systems.
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