Sea trial success for solar solution

02 Jun 2015
The Aquarius solar panel array onboard the 'Blue Star Delos'

The Aquarius solar panel array onboard the 'Blue Star Delos'

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has reported successful sea trials for its Aquarius solar power solution and MAS management and automation system onboard high-speed car and passenger ferry 'Blue Star Delos'.

During two days of testing and evaluation on 17-19 May the system was assessed by both EMP and Blue Star Ferries technical personnel as part of the Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project.

Aquarius MAS+Solar is an innovative renewable energy solution for ships and the trial system includes a 2.3 kWp marine solar panel array, a 5.4 kWhr battery pack, MPPT charge controllers, a marine computer plus associated communications and interface devices.

On each 16-hour evaluation voyage, output of approximately 12.6kW/h was recorded for the trial Aquarius MAS+Solar installation, which featured a 2.3kWp solar panel array and a 5.4kW/h battery pack along with charge controllers and a computer. The system proved capable of charging the battery pack and supplying power to a test load of 24v DC LED lights.

The battery pack used for the trial consisted of 12 FC38-12 batteries supplied by The Furukawa Battery Company of Japan. This company is also working with EMP on other energy storage solutions for shipping after the recent acceptance of the FCP-500 and FCP-1000 series batteries by ClassNK.

The marine computer used on Delos was jointly developed with KEI System of Osaka, Japan. The Aquarius MAS monitors the performance of the marine solar power array, charge controllers and batteries and is connected to the ships fuel flow meters and a newly installed dedicated GPS unit – providing crew with real-time information regarding the ship's fuel oil consumption (FOC) and NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions.

The Aquarius MAS also displays information about the battery pack status, collected solar power and logs data to a noon report. It can also be used to turn equipment on or off or monitor other equipment on the ship.

Aquarius MAS+Solar was installed on Delos in October in 2014 and since that time there has been no downtime or service problems detected, EMP noted.

Greg Atkinson, chief technology officer of Eco Marine Power commented “We are very pleased with the results from the evaluation of Aquarius MAS+Solar on Blue Star Delos and together with the acceptance notification from ClassNK in March, this paves the way for its commercial release”.

EMP will offer two solar-power focused solutions for shipping and offshore applications – Aquarius MAS + Solar and Aquarius Marine Solar Power. Aquarius Marine Solar Power is a stand-alone solution, while Aquarius MAS+Solar is designed to interconnect with other equipment such as fuel flow meters, GPS, relays and auxiliary generators.

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