Japan’s ECO Marine Group has just unveiled an innovative concept design that promises increased fuel efficiency and lower harmful emissions by harnessing both wind and solar power. Unlike other concept designs we have seen, ECO Marine has designed the system to be flexible enough to fit a number of types and sizes of vessels as well as for ground-up construction for those looking for the complete package. Based on what ECO Marine calls the Aquarius MRE System, the concept design incorporates a variety of eco-friendly technologies including solar panels, energy storage modules and an advanced rigid sail design that could lead to greater fuel savings while drastically reducing harmful emissions. Eco Marine says that the system could potentially include enough solar panels and energy storage to power the vessel while in port without the use of auxiliary diesel generators. While at sea, the rigid sail design will be used to supplement propulsion, further reducing fuel savings and harmful emissions. A focus of the system was to make it so it can fit a variety of ship types and sizes including bulk carriers, oil tankers, survey ships, passenger ferries & even unmanned surface vessels. For those looking for the complete package, ECO Marine has also designed the system for ground-up construction. Called the Aquarius ECO Ship, the vessel will be equipped with the same technologies as in the Aquarius MRE System but with further fuel saving measures such as an advanced electrical propulsion system, and optimized hull design, waste recovery technologies and possibly even fuel cell technologies. Eco Marine estimates that combination of technologies could lead to fuel savings of 40% or more and also dramatically reduce the emission of noxious gases such as Sulphur Oxides (SOx) & Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). While the Aquarius MRE System and Aquarius ECO Ship exists only as concept designs at present, ECO Marine says it is ready to work with a shipyard or shipping company to further develop the technology adding that the work could lead to several new design concepts and even additional patent applications.
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