Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP) today has declared that it is proceeding with the development of the Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System for ships and ocean going vessels. The  marine power solution are going to use rigid sail panels fitted with solar modules to collect wind and solar energy onboard ships to lower their fuel consumption, lessen the vessels noxious gas emissions and reduce carbon emission.

Before taking the decision to proceed with the development of the Aquarius System a strong study was conducted in 2010. This study found that the use of wind and solar power in the ocean going ships and found its viability to harness such energy to power the ships.

The Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System will use an onboard computer system to manage the deployment of rigid sail solar panels for the wind push as well as for the collection of solar energy. These rigid sail panels will help the large vessels such as oil tankers and bulk carriers to become part solar ships and part sailing ships. The rigid sail panels can be used when the ship is at anchor or alongside in port.

Though the system was initially designed for larger sized vessels, the developed technology allows their deployment even in smaller sized vessels such as coastal freighters, passenger and tourist boats.

In addition the Eco Marine Power Aquarius System is being designed with a range of safety features that will automatically stow the rigid sail panels that will allow packing of the rigid solar panels during extreme weather conditions and the flexibility of the system’s design will help to reduce the manufacturing costs and allow ship designers, naval architects and ship builders to incorporate the Aquarius System into current ship designs.

Eco Marine Power is currently working together with a number of development partners in several countries to complete the detailed design and a prototype of the system is scheduled to be ready for preliminary testing in early 2012.