KEI System Ltd (KEI) and Eco Marine Power (EMP) have jointly established the Aquarius Innovation Lab in Osaka, Japan, which includes an indoor test centre plus an outdoor area for evaluating the performance of hardware such as solar panels, rigid sails & wind power devices.
The Aquarius Innovation Lab will conduct research & design plus product development activities related to marine renewable energy systems and fuel saving technologies. Ongoing projects include the development of the Aquarius MRE System and EnergySail, both of which are to be tested in the facility.
The new facility is claimed to be unique in that it will develop and test a wide range of equipment in a multi-vendor environment thus providing solutions suited to ships ranging from small passenger ferries and tugboats to naval vessels, bulk ore carriers and cruise ships. The lab is also an international one and will be evaluating and testing equipment from Italy, UK, Canada, Germany, USA and Japan.
The Aquarius Innovation Lab will also be used to prepare new features for the Aquarius Management & Automation System (Aquarius MAS) which was recently released by EMP. A basic Aquarius MAS package is able to monitor fuel consumption, emissions & engine performance thus providing a cost-effective means by which ship owners can improve vessel efficiency and reduce fuel costs.
Greg Atkinson of Eco Marine Power commented that “The establishment of the Aquarius Innovation Lab is another major step forward for Eco Marine Power and strengthens our relationship with KEI System. We look forward to working with KEI in bringing a range of innovative renewable energy and fuel saving solutions to the shipping market.”
Soon, a complete prototype of the Aquarius MRE System including an EnergySail & computer system is planned to begin the final phase of testing in the lab before sea trials which are scheduled to commence during 2014.