The Japan-based company Eco Marine Power, is planning to develop a solar power system for ocean-going vessels and ships. Currently, the company is designing rigid sail panels fitted with solar modules, dubbed The Aquarius, that are able to collect solar and wind energy on board ships.
The technology is not only designed for large ships but also for smaller vessels such as passenger ferries, tourist boats and coastal freighters. The developers are still studying if it can be used by government and naval vessels such as patrol ships. According to the company, a prototype of the system will be revealed by the end of 2012.
The latest design made by Eco Marine has the possibility to control how an array of rigid sail panels is deployed with the use of an onboard computer system. It will also control the array of rigid sail panels to maximize the collection of either solar and wind energy, depending on weather conditions.
Eco Marine Power also said that its design could be installed on different types of vessel and ships sizes, thereby making it accessible for ship builders and naval architects.
Currently, the company works with several governments, planning to collaborate with shipping companies and shipyards to help improve the design. It looks like the shipping industry becomes much greener and let’s hope one day we’ll see ships powered by 100% renewable energy.