Low & Zero Emission Ship Designs with Sail-Assisted Propulsion & Solar Power

Aquarius Eco Handmax | Zero Emission ShipThe Aquarius Eco Handymax ship design concepts include the integrated sail-assisted propulsion & solar power system known as Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy or Aquarius MRE® and a range of energy saving devices including an air lubrication system (ALS). These concept designs incorporate many of the technologies & solutions of Aquarius Eco Ship future bulker concept design,

The design concepts also incorporate the Aquarius ESD (Energy Saving Devices) package - this combines sail- assisted or wind-assisted propulsion & solar power with a range of energy saving devices.

Two versions of this Eco Ship are being developed:

Aquarius Eco Handymax

A low emission ship with low emission main engines, Aquarius MRE® and energy saving devices.

Aquarius Eco Handymax

Technologies & solutions included:

  • Aquarius MRE® including an EnergySail® array & Aquarius Marine Solar Power (MSP).
  • Propeller hubs or caps.
  • Air lubrication system (ALS),
  • Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS).
  • DC mini-grids & energy storage.
  • Variable speed electrical drives.

Aquarius Eco Handymax II

A zero emission ship with Aquarius MRE and energy saving devices, electric propulsion & fuel cells.

Technologies & solutions included:

  • Aquarius MRE® including an EnergySail® array & Aquarius Marine Solar Power (MSP).
  • Propeller hubs or caps.
  • Air lubrication system (ALS),
  • Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS).
  • DC mini-grids & energy storage.
  • Variable speed electrical drives.
  • Electric propulsion.
  • Fuel cells.
  • Energy saving device package.

Aquarius Eco Handymax II



Concept design by: Greg Atkinson. Eco Marine Power.


Thinking beyond boundaries for innovative maritime solutions

Meeting at Nakashima Propeller Tamashima WorksGreen ships, zero emission vessels and the pathway to decarbonisation are topics that are now of primary importance to the shipping sector. Not only are there initiatives from within the sector being implemented to improve the energy efficiency of ships and reduce airborne emissions, but also organisations including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) & European Commission have outlined policy measures aimed to reduce carbon emissions related to shipping.

Additionally many of the emission reduction targets are not clearly defined nor is there a stable policy framework upon which the industry can map out a long-term path to meet these targets. 

To complicate matters further, organisational barriers often prevent the free exchange of ideas and opinions between classification societies, industry groups and shipping related organisations. Furthermore, numerous governments appear to be advocating their own independent strategies and policies.

Therefore to assist companies in the shipping and maritime sector to navigate through this maze of challenges, the Aquarius Innovation Forum was established with the primary aim of freely exchanging ideas that will assist members to mitigate risks and develop long-term strategies to deal with the evolving technological, organizational and policy environment. This group was initially established in February 2021 as the Eco Marine Power Research Advisory Group but was expanded and renamed in January 2022.

Background & Objectives

More than 5 years ago Eco Marine Power began moving all its various research projects within the common framework of a virtual research organisation. This organisation has now evolved to include cooperating with a wide range of companies to undertake research projects covering topics focused on the use of renewable energy on ships, the installation of energy saving devices, the use of automation & data logging systems and the implementation of improved management processes.

The primary aims of the Aquarius Innovation Forum are:

  • To exchange ideas and information related to reducing vessel emissions and fuel consumption and improving the energy efficiency of ships.
  • To highlight topics and subject areas related to ship energy efficiency that should be investigated further.
  • To study technology-based and/or operational related solutions that could be utilized to facilitate the transition of the maritime sector towards decarbonisation.
  • To provide guidance to companies within the EMP Research Institute regarding future R&D and solution development projects.
  • To look outside shipping for possible solutions that could be adapted for use on-board ships and to consider how solutions developed for shipping, could be applied to other sectors and industries.

Updates related to the Forum can be followed via the EMP Research Institute LinkedIn page: btn liprofile blue 80x15


Aquarius Innovation Forum

 Current Member Companies

ADNOC Logistics & Services, Zeaborn Ship Management (Singapore), Star Bulk, Furukawa Battery, Teramoto Iron Works, Eco Marine Power, Surfwave, Ardmore Shipping, Nakashima Propeller, Neptune Lines, Sojitz Kyushu, NittoSeiko, Sunflame.

Founding Members

ADNOC Logistics & Services.

Mr. Khalid Mohamed Al Shehhi.

Manager, Marine Projects (Shipping).

Zeaborn Ship Management.

Capt. Ninad Sharad Mhatre.

Managing Director.

Star Bulk.

Mr. George Mantalos.

Technical Manager. .

Furukawa Battery.

Mr. Yasuhiro Kodaka.

General Manager.

Teramoto Iron Works.

Mr. Yoshitaka Teramoto.


Eco Marine Power.

Mr. Greg Atkinson.

President & CTO.

Surfwave Inc.

Mr. Akihito Suzuki.

Chief Executive Officer.


See also: Eco Marine Power Research Institute

Onomichi MTTC

Test and Evaluation Center for Shipping, Marine and Offshore TechnologiesEnergySail Demonstration Unit at Onomichi MMTC

The Onomichi Marine Tech Test Center or Onomichi MTTC is located at the Teramoto Iron Works Chojahara Workshop in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Onomichi is a major center of ship building and ship repair industries.

The centre includes a large outdoor evaluation area which is used to develop, test, evaluate and demonstrate new technologies or provide support for products in service. Equipment installed at the center includes a jack-up rig for offshore wind power facilities, marine solar power panels, marine-grade frames for ship photovoltaic (PV) systems and an EnergySail test unit.

A key focus at the Onomichi MTTC is renewable energy related technologies for shipping, marine and offshore applications. The aim is to help develop solutions that will assist with the transition of shipping to a zero emissions future.

The Onomichi MTTC is also being used as a test and R&D centre for Eco Mainre Power's patented EnergySail and Aquarius MRE technologies.

JAMDA Rigid Sail at Teramoto Iron Works in the 1980'sTeramoto Iron Works (established in 1934) has a long history of product innovation and was involved in the production of rigid sails for ships in Japan around four decades ago.

These rigid sails were known as "JAMDA"  (Japan Marine Machinery Development Association) sails and the fuel savings on ships that used them ranged between approximately 10% - 30%. Trials using these sails also showed that they were capable of moving the ship at low speed without the use of the main engines.

Variations of these rigid sails could be folded when not in use and they proved the viability of using rigid sails as a means of auxillary propulsio to reduce fuel consumption on powered vessels.

The JAMDA rigid sail experience makes the Onomichi MTTC the ideal location for the ongoing development of the EnergySail and other renewable energy solutions for shipping including marine solar power. In addition other solutions for shipping, marine and offshore applications are also developed and tested at the center.


Current projects ongoing at the Onomichi MTTC

  • TM-600 Jack Up System for offshore rigs & offshore platforms.
  • Aquarius Marine Solar Power system testing.
  • Marine solar photovoltaic (PV) panels evaluation.
  • Design and testing of PV panel mounting frames for ship and offshore applications.
  • EnergySail testing and evaluation.
  • Ship, marine & offshore energy storage solutions design & evaluation.

Future planned projects

  • Aquarius MRE testing and evaluation.
  • Marine wind power device testing including wind power turbines.
  • Aquarius USV testing.

In addition to TerEvaluation of solar panels and frames at Onomichi MTTCamoto Iron Works and Eco Marine Power other companies involved in activities at the Onomichi MTTC include KEI System, Furukawa Battery and Fuji Trading

Equipment from other suppliers in Japan and internationally will also be evaluated at the center as required.

The Onomichi MTTC also conducts testing and evaluation projects in co-operation with the Aquarius Innovation Lab in Osaka.

For further information about our development activities with our strategic partners please see our R&D section.

Note: Aquarius MRE and EnergySail are registered trademarks of Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd.


Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Powered by Renewable Energy (Under Development)

The Aquarius USV™ is being developed as a cost-effective Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) or Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) that will incorporate a number of technologies from Eco Marine Power & its strategic partners. These technologies include the patented Aquarius MRE and  EnergySail plus high performance marine batteries & lightweight flexible marine solar panels.

Aquarius USV by Eco Marine PowerThe Aquarius USV will be powered by a solar-electric hybrid marine power (HMP) solution which will also feature a solar panel array designed by EMP. On-board batteries will be re-charged via the solar-panel array or via ship or shore power using rapid battery re-charging technology.

The vessel will be fitted with compact low power marine computer systems which will utilise the KEI 3240 platform - this flexible marine computer system architecture has proven itself to be reliable on hundreds of vessels ranging from tugboats to ocean going bulk ore carriers and tankers.

The vessel will also be fitted with a sensor pack including several unique sensors developed by EMP. These sensors will be able to collect data from above and below the waterline and this data can either be stored on-board the vessel and/or transmitted back to a ship or shore office. Data transmission will be possible via Wi-Fi, mobile phone or satellite connections.

The Aquarius USV's shallow draft and low height will allow it to operate on urban waterways, rivers, bays and lakes in addition to being suitable for coastal waters and missions at sea. If needed, the masts can also be lowered (optional) to give the vessel a stealth capability.

Typical missions for the Aquarius USV could include monitoring harbour pollution, oceanographic surveys, maritime park surveillance, port security, coastal border patrols, marine data collection and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

A variation of the Aquarius USV will include a stand-alone version of EMP's unique EnergySail technology in order to extend the vessel's range and allow for additional sensors to be fitted.

EMP is also studying the possibility of developing a robotic version of the Aquarius USV.

The Aquarius USV design study project started in 2011 and has now been re-aligned with EMP's other development projects. Lab testing of technologies to be used for the Aquarius USV has already commenced.

Aquarius USV™ (Preliminary Information)

Length 5 metres Navigation GPS
Beam 8 metres Solar Marine grade flexible panels
Draft 1 metre Energy Storage Lithium Ion or Hybrid VRLA Battery Modules
Vessel Type Triple Hull Propulsion Solar-electric hybrid marine power system
Speeds Up to 6 knots Power Management Integrated HMP & BMS with Aquarius MAS
Payload Under Investigation Construction Lightweight composite and marine grade aluminium


Other Features:

  • EnergySail® stand-alone system. (optional)
  • Rapid battery re-charging technology.
  • On-board management and control computers.
  • Wireless data link(s).
  • Automatic data transmission & reporting.
  • On-board data storage. (optional)
  • Automatic alarm reporting.
  • Sensor pack.
  • Robust design.

* Concept design: Greg Atkinson. EMP. All rights reserved. © 2012 - 2017. Eco Marine Power. Ltd.

Further Reading:  Technologies Overview Investor Information

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


Research & Design Facility Focused on Sustainable Shipping Technologies

The Aquarius Innovation Lab conducts research & design plus product development activities related to marine renewable energy systems and fuel saving technologies. Ongoing projects include the development of the Aquarius MRE System and EnergySail, both of which are being tested and evaluated at the lab.

The Aquarius InnovatiEnergySail System Testing at Aquarius Innovation Labon Lab is unique in that it develops and tests a wide range of equipment in a multi-vendor environment thereby allowing Eco Marine Power to provide solutions suited to ships ranging from small passenger ferries and tugboats to naval vessels, bulk ore carriers and cruise ships.

Equipment currently in the lab includes an EnergySail prototype, EnergySail ACS (Automated Control System), MPPT Controller, Aquarius MAS, various solar panels, sensors, marine batteries and a marine electric motor.

The lab is also an international centre and works with with designers, equipment manufactures & technical firms from Japan, Italy, Greece, UK, Canada, USA, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

The Aquarius Innovation Lab is also utilised to prepare new features for the Aquarius Management & Automation System (Aquarius MAS) and to support the development of new software features for KEI System's marine computer systems such as the KEI 3240 Data Logger.

Additionally, the lab acts as a technical support, integration testing and verification centre as required.

The facility is located in Osaka, Japan, and includes an indoor test centre plus an outdoor area for evaluating the performance of hardware such as solar panels, rigid sails & wind power devices.

Innovation and Co-Operation

The Aquarius Innovation Lab was established by KEI System Ltd and Eco Marine Power Ltd as part of their ongoing co-operation to develop fuel saving and emission reduction solutions. These solutions incorporate renewable energy, energy storage and computer system technologies.Marine Solar Panel at Aquarius Innovation Lab

Equipment monitoring and performance management systems are also tested at the lab as are stand-alone units such as marine-grade flexible solar panels and MPPT controllers.

A number of technology providers have supplied equipment to be evaluated at the lab and additional equipment is installed as required.

It is through this type of co-operation that further innovative solutions will be developed to help make shipping even more efficient and environmentally friendly in the years ahead.

Current Projects

The following testing and/or evaluation projects are currently ongoing at the lab.

    • Aquarius MAS - development and testing of additional software features.

    • Aquarius MRE System - prototype system testing & evaluation. (also preparation and support for sea trials)

    • EnergySail - prototype testing and evaluation. (including computer control system)

    • Marine Solar Power - evaluation of flexible solar panels, interface units and MPPT hardware.

  • Aquarius USV - evaluation of control system & power management for Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).

In addition the lab provides technical support for the Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project as required.


Further Reading: Research & Development   Technologies

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



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Hybrid marine power solutions including solar power save fuel, reduce pollution and are cost effective. Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of developing low emission & fuel saving solutions for ships, Our computer systems also provide a control interface between renewable energy & other systems on-board ships.
Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of providing innovative marine renewable energy technologies for shipping that harness the power of the sun & wind. These solutions include Aquarius MRE, EnergySail & Aquarius Marine Solar Power. These reduce fuel consumption, lower noxious gas emissions and deliver cost benefits.
Aquarius Management & Automation System or Aquarius MAS is a cost effective alarm handling, monitoring & data logging platform suitable for a wide range of ships. The system is based upon the reliable KEI 3240 Data Logger and is class approved. Aquarius MAS can also monitor fuel use & calculate vessel emissions.
Our design & consulting services include green ship & eco ship concept designs, renewable energy surveys, renewable energy systems design & consulting support for new ship and retrofit projects. We work with ship owners, ship managers and ship yards to develop the right renewable energy solution for their needs.
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