The unit, manufactured by EMP's partner Teramoto Iron Works, is to be used for demonstrations for possible customers and during preparations for sea trials.

The unit can be fitted with marine-grade solar panels and can allegedly provide vessels with a zero emissions source of supplementary propulsive power and electrical power. EMP said that the EnergySail can be upgraded during the life-cycle of the ship so that newer technologies can be incorporated if required.

Currently EMP is evaluating a number of photovoltaic (PV) panel types at the Onomichi MTTC and the type of PV panel to be used for sea trials will be determined by the middle of this year.

Also, EnergySail combines wind, solar, energy storage and marine computer technologies into a scalable clean energy system for a wide range of ships including coastal cargo vessels, bulkers, tankers and cruise ships.

Greg Atkinson, Chief Technology Officer at Eco Marine Power commented that

Installing an integrated class-approved renewable energy system with the EnergySail’s as a source of zero emissions power will be a major step forward in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.