EMP Tests EnergySail
Japanese technology company Eco Marine Power (EMP) has announced that the EnergySail, a sail-assisted propulsion and solar power device for ships, is ready for demonstration and evaluation testing in Japan.
EnergySail, which is unveiled at the Onomichi Marine Tech Test Centre (MTTC) in Japan, is an upgrade of the pre-production unit and represents one of the smaller types of EnergySail that will be put into commercial service.
It was manufactured by EMP’s strategic partner Teramoto Iron Works Co., Ltd. and will be used for demonstrations for potential customers and during preparations for sea trials.
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.
Currently EMP is evaluating a number of photovoltaic (PV) panel types at the Onomichi MTTC and the type of PV panel to be used for sea trials will be determined by the middle of this year.
The flexible design of the EnergySail enables for it to be upgraded during the life-cycle of the ship so that newer technologies can be incorporated if required. It has also been designed so that it will 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.
The EnergySail is also a core sub-system of EMP’s Aquarius MRE (marine renewable energy) solution. 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.