Zero Emission Ship Design Concept with Rigid Sails & Solar Power

Pathway to Zero Emission Shipping

The Aquarius Eco Ship is a green shipping concept design and ongoing comprehensive study project focused on optimizing the design of ocean-going ships such as bulk carriers, tankers, RoRo vessels and cruise ships, to harness the power of the wind & sun plus incorporate other emissions reduction and energy efficient technologies and future propulsion systems including hydrogen fuel cells.

The Aquarius Eco Ship study project was started by Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd (EMP) in May 2011 and has attracted world-wide interest. So far it has led to the development of several patented design concepts and the trial and commercialization of a ship-based solar power system: Aquarius Marine Solar Power.

Sail Assisted Shipping with Solar Power 

The centre piece of the Aquarius Eco Ship is Aquarius MRE (Marine Renewable Energy) - an innovative and patented fuel saving and emission reduction system that incorporates a variety of elements including marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules, computer control systems and an advanced rigid sail design.

Aquarius Eco Ship by Eco Marine Power

Aquarius MRE is a zero emission & wind assisted (or sail assisted propulsion) solution which has been designed to be highly flexible and configurable so that the concept can be applied to most ship sizes and types.

Applications for the system include bulkers, oil tankers, general cargo ships, survey ships, passenger ferries, cruise ships, Ro-Ro ships, car carriers & even unmanned surface vessels.

In addition to Aquarius MRE, a future Aquarius Eco Ship would be fitted with other fuel saving measures such as an advanced electrical propulsion system, low power LED lighting, air lubrication, an optimised hull design and waste heat recovery technologies. Fuel cell technology could also be incorporated into the design.

This combination of technologies could lead to fuel savings of 40% or more when applied to existing ship designs and also dramatically reduce the emission of noxious gases such as Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). In addition the use of renewable energy and energy saving measures would reduce the vessels carbon (CO2) footprint.

An Aquarius Eco Ship could include up to 1 MWp of solar power and enough energy storage modules so that the ship would not need to use auxiliary diesel generators whilst in port. This could also enable the ship to operate emissions free when Aquarius Eco Ship CFD Analysisalongside or an anchor.

Both the Aquarius Eco Ship and Aquarius MRE have been designed to take into account the reality of operating rigid sails on ocean going ships and include a range of software and hardware related safety features. The rigid sails for example, can be lowered and stored when not in use or during extreme weather or emergencies. The automated control system will also lower or position the rigid sails to avoid injury to the crew or damage to the ship or sails.

EnergySail Technology - Wind Power & Solar Power for Ships

The rigid sails used by the Aquarius Eco Ship form part of Eco Marine Power's patented EnergySail technology. This renewable energy sail platform allows for a variety of energy sources to be used and managed via the same system. Solar panels & wind power devices can be mounted on the rigid sails or elsewhere on the ship in a variety of configurations.

Aquarius MRE technology will enable ships of all types and sizes to safely use renewable energy in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower harmful emissions in a cost effective way. The Aquarius Eco Ship is an example of how this system could be integrated into a new ship design although it is also suitable for existing ship designs and could be retro-fitted to vessels already in service.

Aquarius Eco Ship - Renewable Energy for Ships (Video Introduction)

The Aquarius Eco Ship is another example of how Eco Marine Power is developing designs to move shipping towards a more sustainable and zero emissions future.

Aquarius Eco Ship Technologies

Aquarius Eco Ship with Sail Assisted Propulsion - Main Details


Aquarius Eco Ship Bulk cargo (bulker) variation RE System Type Aquarius MRE
240 metres (Approx,)
45 metres (Approx.)
EnergySail Array 14 sails with solar. Sail area 1400 sqm.
Solar Aquarius Marine Solar Power (MSP)
Maxium Speed 16 knots Eco Speed 12 knots
Engine Power  13,000 kW @ 16 knots
Engine Power  5,000 kW @ 12 knots

Hybrid electric with hydrogen fuel cells

(Hybrid = solar/sails & fuel cells)

Energy Storage

Hybrid VRLA battery modules

(For solar power system)

Energy Saving Devices

Air lubrication system (ALS)

Addanced propeller design.

DC lighting & micro-grids.


Hull modifications.

New rigid sail devices (under development/patent pending)

Aquarius MAS with Ship performance management.

RE - renewable energy. MAS - management & automation system.

Design Concept: Greg Atkinson & Eco Marine Power. All rights reserved. Aquarius Eco ShipTM.

Copyright © 2011 - 2022. Eco Marine Power.

Further Information

Aquarius MRE webpage.

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


Low Emission Solar-Hybrid Ferry

Low emission passenger ferries are needed on the world's urban waterways, marine parks and tourist areas. That's why Eco Marine Power is currently working with a number of development partners on the 'Tonbo' - a solar electric hybrid propulsion ferry that will incorporate the latest green and eco-friendly marine technologies.

Solar Hybrid Ferry Tonbo The Tonbo will use a hybrid marine power (HMP) system combined with a solar-electric power system to provide the energy needed for both propulsion and on-board requirements for such things as lighting & cooling etc. It is also being designed to be friendly to the environment and also reduce operational costs for vessel owners by slashing fuels costs.

The Tonbo solar electric ferry will use the latest Lithium battery technology and will be able to charge these batteries by using the innovative solar panel system or array mounted on the roof or by using shore power when alongside. In addition, an on-board low emission generator will provide a back-up means to recharge the batteries as required.

The lightweight, high efficiency marine grade solar panels used by Tonbo can be moved to maximise energy from the sun or be lowered so the vessel can move under low bridges, if high winds are present or when the vessel is not in use. Hybrid Ferry Tonbo

The initial Tonbo design is focused on a 200-250 passenger solar ferry or sightseeing vessel and includes an open deck area at the rear and an observation area at the front. However the design is very flexible and the basic Tonbo concept could be applied to other vessels such as workboats, cruise vessels and even fishing boats。

When cruising at low speeds (around 8 knots or less) the Tonbo will be able to operate in all-electric mode using the on-board batteries. This will allow it to move almost silently across the water - ideal for evening cocktail cruises or sightseeing trips.

On-board Marine Computer System

The solar panel array will be positioned via an innovative control system currently being developed by Eco Marine Power and it's development partner KEI System of Osaka, Japan. A data management and performance monitoring system will also be installed.

environmental_innovation_2011 The vessel itself will be constructed from marine grade aluminium and recycled materials will be used wherever possible.

The Tonbo solar hybrid power ferry project is already attracting worldwide interest and was nominated for the prestigious Environmental Innovation Award at the 2011 Sustainable Shipping Awards in London.

It's another example that highlights how Eco Marine Power is at the forefront of developing sustainable shipping solutions for a greener marine future.

Technologies utilised on the Tonbo Solar Hybrid Ferry will also be applied to other EMP projects such as the Aquarius USV (unmanned surface vessel) and Aquarius Eco Ship.

Hopefully in the not too distant future - eco-friendly, low emission vessels like the Tonbo will be a frequent sight on waterways the world over.

Without doubt, the Tonbo Solar Hybrid Ferry is yet another revolutionary vessel design concept from Eco Marine Power.

Concept by Greg Atkinson. Eco Marine Power. All rights reserved.

See also: Tonbo Specifications | Tonbo Media Downloads

Aquarius Eco Ship CFD Study

Eco Marine Power Research Institute

Working Towards a Greener, Lower Emission Future for Shipping!

Green ships, eco ships , zero emission ships and vessels that use the power of the wind and sun will play an important role in the decades ahead as world shipping takes measures to reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2, NOX, SOX emissions.

Eco Marine Power YouTubeEco Marine Power (EMP) is at the forefront of developing solutions to meet this challenge and is involved in a number of research & design related projects to help make shipping more environmentally friendly. Our focus is on the use of renewable energy technologies to reduce fossil fuel consumption plus reduce airborne pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The EMP Research Institute is a virtual institute that links a wide variety of research projects & research locations so that knowledge and resources can be shared. The institute also conducts research with other companies working with renewable energy and green shipping related technologies. All the research projects and areas listed on this page are incorporated within the Eco Marine Power Research Institute.

Updates related to activities at the EMP Research Institute can also be followed via: btn liprofile blue 80x15

Research papers & articles related to our projects can be accessed via this link: Articles, Technical Papers & Presentations

Companies currently associated with the EMP Research Institute include ADNOC Logistics & Services (L&S), Star Bulk, ZEABORN Ship Management (Singapore), The Furukawa Battery Company, Teramoto Iron Works & KEI System. Representatives from these companies also exchange ideas related to improving energy efficiency on ships & reducing emissions as members of the Aquarius Innovation Forum

Topics & research areas investigated by the institute include:

  • Study of ship and marine solar power systems including photovoltaic (PV) panel technologies.
  • Energy saving devices (ESD's) & energy saving measures & technologies.
  • Airflow around ships and marine structures.
  • Ship-based automation, control and monitoring systems.
  • Autonomous and unmanned vessels.
  • Energy storage technologies including fuel cells.
  • Rigid sail & semi-rigid sail devices.
  • The use of renewable energy and energy efficient devices on ships and smaller vessels including passenger ferries.
  • Energy transition options for ships and ship owners.
  • Cost effective equipment retrofits for ships to improve energy efficiency.


Aquarius Innovation Forum

Thinking beyond boundaries for innovative maritime solutions

Aquarius Innovation Forum BannerThe 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 and the Eco Marine Power Research Advisory Group but was expanded and renamed in January 2022. 


Aquarius Innovation Lab

R&D facility focused on developing sustainable shipping technologies

Training at Aquarius Innovation LabOur R&D activities are conducted at number of locations including at our design office in Fukuoka, Japan and also at the Aquarius Innovation Lab which is located in Osaka, Japan.

The Aquarius Innovation Lab is a facility focused on the testing and development of technologies that will allow ships to reduce fuel consumption, lower noxious gas emissions and tap into the clean limitless energy of the wind & sun or marine renewable energy.

Current projects ongoing at the lab include testing of the wind power solutions, development of battery management software, evaluation of marine solar panels and testing of additional functions for the Aquarius MAS.

The Aquarius MAS lab is also used for technical training and product familiarisation courses.


Onomichi Marine-Tech Test Center

Test and innovation facility focused on marine & ship technologies

Onomichi MTTC at Teramoto Iron WorksThe Onomichi Marine-Tech Test Center or Onomichi MTTC is located at the Teramoto Iron Works Chojahara Workshop in Onomichi, Japan.

The center includes a large outdoor evaluation area that allows for innovative devices such as EMP's EnergySail to be tested.

In addition other marine renewable energy technologies are evaluated at the center including Aquarius marine solar power solutions. marine grade mounting frames for solar panels, battery racks for ships and wind power devices. The TM-600 jack-up rig is also located at the center.

A number of companies are involved in activities at the Onomichi MTTC including The Furukawa Battery Company and KEI System Limited.


The Aquarius Project

Innovative project developing a range of renewable energy solutions for shipping

In mid 2010 a project was started in Japan to develop a commercial system for utilizing wind power and solar energy on-board ocean going vessels. This project was given the working name  "AquariuCFD study of airflow around Aquarius Eco Ships" and the product development involves a number of different companies and subject matter experts in several countries. A major focus of this project is the development of Aquarius MRE. (MRE = Marine Renewable Energy) and Aquarius Eco Ship.

Aquarius MRE (Patented) allows ships to utilise wind power and solar energy in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower noxious gas emissions. In addition ship owners and operators will be able to reduce the carbon footprint of their fleet and employ the system on a variety of ships and vessels.

Aquarius MRE has been designed so that it will require little attention from the ships crew, will be relatively easy to install and offer an attractive ROI (Return on Investment) for shipping companies. The system incorporates EMP's EnergySail technology, a data logging, control and monitoring computer system (Aquarius MAS), marine grade solar panels plus energy storage modules. A prototype version of the system is currently being tested.

For more information please follow this link to the Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System webpage.


MV Panamana - Aquarius MAS & Ship Solar Power Project

Installation and evaluation of ship solar power equipment kits with FCR-50-12 battery pack

Ship solar power on MV PanamanaThis innovative project involved the installation & integration of a fuel consumption monitoring system (Aquarius MAS) and then the installation of a ship solar power system delivered as kits. MV Panamana is a 54, 694 metric tonne (MT) open hatch general cargo/container carrier with 2 x 70 MT gantry cranes. The ship is owned by Masterbulk Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) and was built by Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd in Japan.

The equipment installed on the ship so far includes a class-approved hybrid battery pack, battery charging equipment, flexible marine-grade photovoltaic (PV) panels with special mounting frames and a computer automation and management system (Aquarius MAS). Of particular note is that for this project the complete system was sent as installation kits and this allowed for the crew to install the equipment without the need of specialized tools and with technical support provided mainly online or via e-mail. Technical support during the installation was provided remotely by Zeaborn Ship Management (Singapore) and Eco Marine Power.

Aquarius MAS is a cost-effective fuel oil consumption (FOC) monitoring, alarm handling and data logging platform suitable for a wide range of ships. Aquarius MAS reports and logs fuel consumption in real-time produces daily consumption reports and calculates vessel emissions (CO2, SOx). It can also monitor and manage renewable energy systems and onboard MV Panamana, it is integrated with EMP’s Aquarius Marine Solar Power solution. The integration of systems onboard MV Panamana is also another important step forward towards the deployment of EMP’s patented Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution – a rigid sail and solar power system able to provide zero emissions power onboard ships.


Aquarius Eco Ship

Low emission vision of future ship design incorporating a range of fuel saving technologies

The EnergySail Array on Eco ShipAquarius Eco Ship is a revolutionary design concept that combines EMP's Aquarius MRE and EnergySail technologies with other fuel saving and emission reduction technologies (such as air lubrication) into an integrated solution for ships including bulk carriers, oil tankers, cargo ships, RoRo vessels, passenger ferries & survey ships.

This combination of technologies including computer control & management systems developed by EMP & KEI System are expected to deliver annual fuel savings of around 40% (depending on the vessel type and route) and significantly reduce the emission of harmful & greenhouse gases from ships including particulate matter.

The Aquarius Eco Ship is the pathway to cleaner, lower emission shipping!

For further details please see our Aquarius Eco Ship webpage.



Tonbo Solar Hybrid Marine Ferry & Medaka Eco Commuter Ferry

Low emission water transport solutions for sustainable cities

The 'Tonbo' design project aims to bring together the latest in hybrid marine power (HMP) systems with the latest solar panel, power management and battery technologies. The vessel would also be fitted with the Aquarius Management & tonbo_solar_ferry_pierAutomation System (MAS).

The Tonbo vessel will be suitable for operation on rivers, bays or lakes and be capable of cruising at low speeds purely on solar-electric power alone.

For more information about the Tonbo please follow this link to the Tonbo Solar Hybrid Propulsion Ferry webpage.

The 'Medaka' is a eco-solar ferry being developed for urban waterways with the aim of producing a cost effective commuter vessel that can operate emissions free.

This study project was started in 2011.

For more information about the Medaka please follow this link: Medaka Eco Solar Ferry


Aquarius Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)

Renewable energy powered USV for multiple missions

Aquarius Unmanned Surface VesselEco Marine Power is currently working on applying its Aquarius MRE System technology to an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) concept.

The Aquarius USV will utilise a range of renewable energy technologies in order to allow the vessel to stay on at sea longer or operate in stealth mode if required.

A variation of the design will also include EMP's EnergySail technology.

Typical missions or roles for this unmanned vessel may include marine surveys, port patrols, surveillance of marine parks and clean-up of urban waterways.

To read more about this innovative vessel please see the Aquarius USV webpage


Past Projects

Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project

Evaluation of renewable energy systems & fuel saving technologies

The Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project was a major step forward towards making shipping more sustainable through the use of renewable energy and fuel reduction solutions on-board ships.

The project evaluated in stages, a number of innovative solutions developed by Eco Marine Power (EMP) and its strategic partners on-board the "Blue Star Delos" – a modern high speed passenger and car ferry owned and operated by the multi-award winning Greek shipping company - Blue Star Ferries of Athens, Greece - a member of Attica Group.Aquarius Marine Solar Power on Blue Star Delos

In addition to Blue Star Ferries and Eco Marine Power other companies involved in the project included: Triad Ltd (Greece), The Furukawa Battery Company (Japan), KEI System (Japan) and Teramoto Iron Works (Japan).


Please note: Aquarius MRE, EnergySail, Aquarius Eco Ship, Aquarius MAS & Aquarius USV are trademarks of Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd.


eco_ship_mre_solar_1_440x265The EMP Research Institute is a virtual institute that links a wide variety of research projects & research locations so that knowledge and resources can be shared. The institute also conducts research with other companies working with renewable energy and green shipping related technologies

Companies currently associated with the EMP Research Institute include The Furukawa Battery Company, Teramoto Iron Works & KEI System.

Research activities are carried out at several locations including Fukuoka, Osaka, Yokohama & onboard ships.



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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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