Eco Marine Power (EMP) reported that its innovative rigid sail technology for ships – the “EnergySail” – has passed a range of function tests which were conducted at the Aquarius Innovation Lab in Osaka, Japan.
The EnergySail is a unique renewable energy platform for shipping designed by EMP that is able to harness the power of the wind and sun. The EnergySail can be used either as a stand-alone device or as part of a larger array of up to eight EnergySail’s or more.
During lab testing a number of unique features incorporated into the design of the patent-pending EnergySail were evaluated including a device to protect the EnergySail from sudden strong wind gusts. Also confirmed during testing were the control algorithms which will be used to fully automate the operation if the EnergySail via a computer control system which is being developed jointly between KEI System Ltd (KEI) of Osaka, Japan and EMP.
The completion of these lab tests is a significant milestone for the EnergySail development project and clears the way for the commercial production of the EnergySail once sea trials have been completed. It also paves the way for the commercial deployment of the Aquarius MRE System which will use an EnergySail array to reduce fuel consumption on ships such as passenger ferries, cruise ships, bulk ore carriers and oil tankers.
“We are extremely pleased with the test results which have confirmed that we made the right design choices regarding the EnergySail and the devices that will be connected to it” said Greg Atkinson, Director at Eco Marine Power. “We have also been encouraged by some very positive feedback that we have received from a number of shipping companies and the increasing interest from companies & organisations around the world in the technologies we are developing”.
The next major step forward for the EnergySail project will be sea trials which are scheduled to start in 2014. Design work on the EnergySail which will be used for this phase has already started and confidential discussions with a major shipping company regarding co-operation during these trials are in progress.
The lab testing phase for the EnergySail was supported by the Japan Ship Machinery & Equipment Association (JSMEA).
EMP, February 4, 2014