Integrated Wind and Solar Power System for Sustainable Shipping
World shipping is a major source of airborne pollution and the movement of seaborne trade across the world requires vast amounts of bunker oil and other fossil fuels to be consumed by ships of all sizes. But as more focus is placed upon reducing CO2 emissions and living in a more sustainable way, it is clear that changes will have to be made to the propulsion and power systems on-board modern vessels.
Wind power and solar energy are already popular sources of clean renewable energy on land, so Eco Marine Power is working with a number of development partners on an international project to develop Aquarius MRE® (Marine Renewable Energy) - a system which will allow ships to be powered in a greener and more eco-friendly way by using these limitless sources of energy.
Aquarius MRE can be incorporated into existing ship designs as shown on the right or be integrated into future designs such as the Aquarius Eco Ship concept which is also being developed by Eco Marine Power.
The patented Aquarius MRE is an advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules and marine computers that will enable ships to tap into renewable energy by harnessing the power provided by the wind and sun. The array of rigid sails will be automatically positioned by a computer system to best suit the prevailing weather conditions and can be lowered and stored when not in use or in bad weather.
The rigid sails are based on EMP's EnergySail® technology and these renewable energy devices can even be used when a ship is at anchor or in harbour. Each EnergySail can be configured with a mix of sensors, photovoltaic panels or other power generation devices. Clearly the EnergySail is unlike any other sail.
Reduced Fossil Fuel Consumption and Less Noxious Gas Emissions
Aquarius MRE will significantly reduce a ships fuel consumption and noxious gas emissions. In addition ship owners and operators will be able to reduce the CO2 footprint of their fleet and employ the solution on a variety of ship and vessel types.
When a ship is at anchor or in port, batteries approved for use on marine vessels can provide an alternative source of power - thereby reducing the fuel used by auxiliary generators. In certain situations it will also be possible for a ship to operate emission free when in port which will become an increasingly important capability as port authorities implement strict airborne emission control regulations.
Aquarius MRE is designed for ships that operate at sea and is not a solution that has been designed for small small vessels and simply scaled up. Ships that operate at sea differ in design from smaller vessels that operate on bays and on harbours, therefore a wind & solar power system for ocean going ships has to be one that is designed for that purpose. Aquarius MRE is that type of solution.
Although this cutting-edge 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, small passenger ferries, tourist boats and Unmanned Surface Vessels. (USV's) Elements of the system are also suitable for offshore marine use and for land-based renewable energy projects.
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 and marine survey vessels.
Key features of Aquarius MRE include patented technology, ease of use, robust design, fully automated control system, attractive Return on Investment (ROI) and reliable operation.
Aquarius MRE by Eco Marine Power is an innovative approach to using wind and solar power together on ships and the technology will help reduce fossil fuel consumption and noxious emissions across the global shipping sector.
For more about the thinking behind 'Aquarius' please read: A Marine Renewable Energy Solution for Modern Ships.
Innovation & Co-OperationThe development of the system includes the development of a computer system and a control system architecture to integrate the Aquarius MRE System with other equipment and systems on-board ships. The development project also involves a number of companies working as strategic partners with Eco Marine Power including KEI System, Teramoto Iron Works & The Furukawa Battery Company.
Awards and Nominations
The Aquarius MRE System was a finalist in the 2011 Sustainable Shipping Awards, won a Solution Inspiring Action Award at the 2012 Savannah Ocean Exchange and was nominated for the 2013 Ship Technology Award.
Aquarius MRE System (Patented) & EnergySail (Patented) are registed trademarks of Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd.
Aquarius Eco Ship Concept by Greg Atkinson (Eco Marine Power) All Rights Reserved.