The decision to proceed with the development of the Aquarius System was made after an extensive feasibility study was conducted in 2010. This study found that wind and solar power could be harnessed by ships in a cost effective manner by utilizing the latest solar module technology, a modern onboard control & navigation system and an advanced rigid sail concept.
The Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System will use an onboard computer system to control how an array of rigid sail panels are deployed, thereby enabling them to be positioned for the best use of the wind or to act as solar energy collectors depending on the prevailing weather conditions. These rigid sail panels will effectively allow large vessels such as oil tankers and bulk carriers to become part solar ships and part sailing ships. It will also be possible to use the rigid sail panels when the ship is at anchor or alongside in port.
In addition the Eco Marine Power Aquarius System is being designed with a range of safety features that will for example, automatically stow the rigid sail panels during periods of adverse weather conditions.
The flexibility of the system’s design will enable it to be installed on variety of ship types and vessel sizes using the same main system components. This will help reduce manufacturing costs and allow ship designers, naval architects and ship builders to incorporate the Aquarius System into current ship designs.
Although the EMP Aquarius System is being initially designed for large ships, much of the technology being developed will also be suitable for smaller vessels such as coastal freighters, passenger ferries and tourist boats. A study is also being conducted to determine if it would be feasible to use the system on naval and government vessel such as patrol ships.
Eco Marine Power is currently working together with a number of development partners in several countries to complete the detailed design and a prototype of the system is scheduled to be ready for preliminary testing in early 2012.
Eco Marine Power is also seeking to work with shipping companies and shipyards to help refine the design and assist with prototype testing and preliminary sea trials.
Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. is an internationally focused technology company based in Fukuoka, Japan, that develops innovative eco-friendly solar power, wind energy, electric and hybrid marine power and propulsion solutions. The company also designs cutting edge eco-friendly vessel concepts that incorporate the latest green energy technology and is currently working on a number of design projects including the solar-electric Hybrid Marine Power (HMP) vessel – Tonbo.