Eco Marine Power has decided to move forward with the development of a solar module sail panel system for ships. Based in Fukuoka, Japan, this rather interesting looking system is being called the Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System.
The system works by attaching several rigid sail panels that are also solar modules to the deck of the ship. Using an advanced control and navigation system, the solar sails can move to collect greater sunlight or wind. The sails can be used in port for a recharge, and the company is designing them in such a manner that they can be stowed during extreme weather.
For the moment, Eco Marine is designing their new solar sails to be installed in existing ships so that they can test the variety of vessels their product can be fitted to service. As well, the company is limiting the initial development of the Aquarius System to large carriers and oil tankers, but says the foundation of the technology could someday be used for smaller ships.
Eco Marine Power is expecting the first testing of the prototype to start in early 2012, and is currently looking for shipping companies and shipyards around the world to partner with in order to conduct diverse testing under a variety of conditions. As we reported earlier this year, some in the shipping industry are looking to make some positive changes, though things like kites attached to large container ships leave us scratching our heads on the actual effectiveness of said ideas.