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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 

In what the company describes as a significant step towards the realisation of a zero-emission power and propulsion solution for shipping, Eco Marine Power (EMP) has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from ClassNK for its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy with EnergySail (Aquarius MRE) system for ships.

Aquarius MRE is an integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade photovoltaic panels, energy storage modules, charging system and marine computers that enables ships to tap into renewable energy by harnessing the power provided by wind and sun. The  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 unfavourable weather.

The sails are based on EMP's EnergySail technology and can 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 be connected.

The Aquarius MRE development project involves a number of companies working as strategic partners with EMP including KEI System, Teramoto Iron Works and Furukawa Battery Company. Several ship owners are cooperating with EMP in terms of planning for sea trials of the complete system and undertaking studies regarding the use of onboard renewable energy systems.

EMP CTO Greg Atkinson said: “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 and propulsion for ships and assist the shipping industry meet its decarbonisation objectives.”

Yoshitaka Teramoto, President, Teramoto Iron Works, said: “Obtaining AiP for Aquarius MRE and 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.”

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