Tokyo - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL) has announced the launching of the hybrid car carrier Emerald Ace at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI).
The Emerald Ace, designed to generate zero emissions while berthed, was designated as a project to reduce CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels, and earned MOL a subsidy from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in 2009.
The Emerald Ace, slated for delivery in June, 2012, will be the world’s first newly delivered hybrid car carrier and begin test operations of its hybrid power system. The vessel’s hybrid system represents a significant step forward in realizing ISHIN-I, the concept for the next-generation car carrier MOL announced in September, 2009.
The Emerald Ace will be equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system, combining a 160kW solar generation system—jointly developed by MHI, Energy Company of Panasonic Group*, and MOL—with lithium-ion batteries, which can store some 2.2MWh of electricity. Conventional power generation systems use diesel-powered generators to supply electricity on board while berthed. However, on the Emerald Ace, electricity will be generated by the solar power generation system while the vessel is under way and stored in the lithium-ion batteries. The diesel-powered generator will be completely shut down when the ship is in berth, and the batteries will provide all the electricity it needs, resulting in zero emissions at the pier.
The “Solar Hybrid” logo is painted on the sides of the vessel near the stern to identify its hybrid system and its use of renewable energy.