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EMP’s EnergySail® test unit unveiled for demonstrations in Japan

05 Mar 2020

Japan based marine renewable energy technology company Eco Marine Power (EMP) on Wednesday (4 March) announced  a full scale EnergySail® demonstration and test unit has been unveiled at the Onomichi Marine Tech Test Centre (MTTC) in Japan. 

This full scale version of an EnergySail, manufactured by EMP’s strategic partner Teramoto Iron Works Co., is an upgrade of the pre-production unit and represents one of the smaller types of EnergySail® that will be put into commercial service. 

The patented EnergySail can be fitted with marine-grade solar panels and therefore it is capable of providing ships with a zero emissions source of supplementary propulsive power and electrical power. 

The flexible design of EnergySail enables for it to be upgraded during the life-cycle of the ship so that newer technologies can be incorporated if required, it will also require little maintenance and be robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions of an operational life at sea over many years. 

These features of the design will be evaluated during further shore-based testing. The demonstration and test unit has an overall height of approximately 6 metres when raised and can be lowered and stored when not in use.

Aquarius MRE combines wind, solar, energy storage and marine computer technologies into a scalable clean energy system for a wide range of ships including coastal cargo vessels, bulkers, tankers and cruise ships.

The solar power sub-system of Aquarius MRE has already been installed on ships and the next step will be to combine this with the EnergySail technology. 

A project to plan and install a complete Aquarius MRE solution is underway and it is anticipated that the installation of equipment will commence this year.

Representatives from Singapore based ZEABORN Ship Management Pte. Ltd. were recently welcomed to inspect the EnergySail, and also shown other equipment installed at the Onomichi MTTC including marine solar panels and the TM-600 jack-up rig system.

“We have spent some years now working towards the commercial deployment of our EnergySail rather than simply installing a prototype onto a ship,” said Greg Atkinson, Chief Technology Officer at Eco Marine Power. 

“This is because we have been focused on getting a class-approved and cost effective sail-assisted propulsion system ready that can also be integrated with other systems via our Aquarius MRE solution.”

“Installing an integrated class-approved renewable energy system with the EnergySail’s as a source of zero emissions power will be a major step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.”


Photo credit: Eco Marine Power

Published: 5 March, 2020

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