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Rigid Solar Sail Tech Production Commences

The production and testing of Eco Marine Power’s EnergySail has begun in Onomochi, Japan.

The start of production marks a key milestone for this technology which utilises wind power and solar photovoltaics for fuel consumption reduction and improved ship efficiency.

The innovative EnergySail is a flexible piece of technology that can be applied to any vessel and can be used when a ship is at anchor or in port and is designed to withstand high winds.

The rigid sails can be fitted with marine-grade solar panels or other devices that can be used to charge batteries. These photovoltaics can also be used to feed the electrical power into Eco Marine Power’s  Aquarius MAS + Solar solution (a Management and Automation System that records performance data to control equipment).

Eco Marine Power expects that in the future the EnergySail will function as a critical element of the Aquarius MRC system, which integrates rigid sails, solar panels, energy storage modules, sensors and marine computers to turn wind and sun power into renewable energy.

Alongside a number of other companies, Eco Marine Power is working on variations of EnergySail that will enable it to be applied to unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and marine robotic vessels (MRVs), with some elements of the technology possibly suitable for offshore marine renewable energy platforms.

The first ever factory-produced EnergySail is to be manufactured by Eco Marine Power’s partner, Teramoto Iron Works.  Production and shore based testing is scheduled to be completed in the 2nd half of 2016, followed by an extended evaluation phase, including onboard trials and consultations with classification organisations.

Photo courtesy of Eco Marine Power. 

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