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Japan-based Eco Marine Power believes that any ship could be powered by wind and solar energy in the future. The company unveiled a concept design that applies to virtually any type of ship, including monstrous ferries, survey boats, cruise ships, and oil tankers that could be equipped with gigantic sails of solar panels to reduce fuel consumption and even integrate an electric propulsion system in the future.
Called the “Aquarius Eco Ship”, a full-scale model would also feature an “optimized hull design and waste heat recovery technologies,” Eco Marine Power said. The company believes that the concept ship is capable of carrying at least a 1MWp solar system and enough energy storage modules “so that the ship would not need to use auxiliary diesel generators whilst in port.” The entire concept would enable a ship to reduce its fuel consumption by up to 40 percent.
The company said that it is looking for a shipbuilder to develop the concept in to an actually functional ship. Tests of the technology are expected to occur later this year.