Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Japanese(JP)English (United Kingdom)

Solar Hybrid Ferry Concept

Lower emissions, lower fuel costs - a cleaner future for passenger ferries

Solar, solar marine hybrid and solar electric commuter ferry concepts vary widely.  In some cases a solar ferry could simply include just a few solar panels mounted on a vessel which provide relatively little power, or it could be a small commuter ferry where solar energy is the primary source of power.

Of course the reality is that solar panels or modules don't collect energy at night and also their performance on cloudy days is adversely impacted, so a solar-electric ferry propulsion system designs usually include a backup or alternative source of power. Typically this consists of a number of batteries which store excess energy collected during the day or obtained via shore power plus a back-up generator which is used to recharge the batteries as needed.

There are also solar ferry designs that incorporate hybrid marine power (HMP) and this may include a traditional main engine(s) and a solar-electric propulsion system which is used when the vessel is operating at lower speeds. Vessels that utilize solar power not only reduce fossil fuel consumption but they can also operate more quietly and emit far further pollutants into the air than vessels that use traditional diesel engine based propulsion systems.

A practical design approach

But designing a practical and cost effective solar powered ferry or solar-electric hybrid vessel is a major challenge and to date and  there are relatively few of thesetonbo_solar_ferry_text_web types of vessels in service. 

In many cases existing solar ferries cost significantly more to build than conventionally powered vessels and although these costs may be recoverable over time via fuel savings, this initial financial burden is of major concern to ferry owners and operators.

A working ferry also needs to be easy to maintain, reliable and uncomplicated for the crew to operate.

At Eco Marine Power (EMP) we are working to develop a number of solar-hybrid marine power solutions which will lead to a new generation of eco-friendly ferries, work boats and other vessels that these considerations into account.

Our design approach takes into account the entire life-cycle of a vessel including environmental concerns such as the energy required to produce the solar panels and the disposal of the ferry or vessel at the end of its useful life.

EMP itself does not manufacture ships or vessels, instead we aim to work with shipyards and boat-builders that share our vision and want to make shipping more environmentally friendly.

Our design concepts are advanced and incorporate the latest technology while at the same time being practical and simple as possible. The solar-electric ferry designs we are currently developing include a 100-150 solar-electric passenger eco-ferry (Medaka) and a larger 200-250 passenger solar electric hybrid marine propulsion ferry (Tonbo) as shown on the right. Both these vessels will be fitted with a solar panel array that has been designed by EMP.

They will also be fitted with the Aquarius MAS performance monitoring, control & data logging system which has been jointly developed by EMP & KEI System.

Further developments

We are currently looking to incorporate rigid sail & wind power solutions into our solar ferry & vessel design concepts in cases where this is practical and cost effective. At this stage this mainly involves developing variations of our EnergySail & Aquarius MRE System technologies but we are also looking at a range of other technologues as well including fuel cells.

Further reading: Tonbo Solar Ferry   Medaka Eco Ferry

Please Note: Aquarius MRE System, Aquarius MAS and EnergySail are trademarks of Eco Marine Power.



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.
readmore_bluebut readmore_redbut readmore_bluegraybut readmore_bluegraybut