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Eco Marine power receives approval in principle for renewable energy system for ships

Impression of Aquarius MRE on future bulker design concept.

ClassNK approval for the Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy solution will lead to commercialization of complete system.

In a significant step towards the realization of a zero-emission power and propulsion solution for shipping, Eco Marine Power is pleased to announced that it has recently received Approval in Principle (AiP) from ClassNK of Japan (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai) for its Renewable Energy System for Ships – “Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy with EnergySail”.

Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) is an advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules, charging system and marine computers that enables ships to tap into renewable energy by harnessing the power provided by the wind and sun. The array of rigid sails are automatically positioned by a computer system to best suit the prevailing weather conditions and can be lowered and stored when not in use or during 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.

Included in the scope of the AiP certification from ClassNK are two main sub-systems:

  • The EnergySail: a rigid sail type wind-assisted propulsion system that includes the sail structure, driving system and automated control system.
  • Aquarius Marine Solar Power: an energy management system to utilize solar power that includes photovoltaic (PV) modules, batteries, electrical system and control system.

Together these sub-systems are integrated to form Aquarius MRE and within this system architecture various other equipment and sensors can also be connected.

Approval in Principle certificate issued to Eco Marine Power by ClassNK

Approval in Principle certificate issued to Eco Marine Power by ClassNK

The Aquarius MRE development project involves a number of companies working as strategic partners with EMP and these include; KEI System, Teramoto Iron Works & The Furukawa Battery Company. In addition, several ship owners are cooperating with Eco Marine Power in terms of planning for sea trials of the complete system & undertaking studies regarding the use of renewable energy systems onboard ships.

On achieving Approval-in-Principle for Aquarius MRE, Greg Atkinson, Chief Technology Officer at Eco Marine Power remarked, “The certification by ClassNK of Aquarius MRE including our EnergySail, is a major milestone for our project as it covers not only the hardware elements but also the integrated system architecture & computer systems. We believe our scalable and flexible marine renewable energy system will provide an important source of zero emission power & propulsion for ships and assist the shipping industry meet its decarbonisation objectives.”

Yoshitaka Teramoto, President of Teramoto Iron Works stated, “Obtaining AiP for Aquarius MRE & the EnergySail is an important event for our company and will add to our capabilities in the renewable energy sector especially for marine products and offshore structures.”