Mitsui OSK, a transport company in Japan, has completed building a hybrid ship that is capable of ferrying cars. Built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard, in Kobe, the ‘Emerald Ace’ generates zero emissions while it is docked. Not only that, but the ship is powered by a hybrid electric system that uses both solar power and batteries.
The Emerald Ace’s solar power system was developed in conjunction with Panasonic, Mitsui OSK, and Mitsubishi Heavy, and is able to generate 160 kilowatts of electricity. The ship’s lithium-ion batteries replace the use of diesel-powered generators, and will store up to 2.2 megawatt hours of electricity. While the vessel is traveling, electricity is generated from the solar panels along the top of the boat, and then stored in the batteries for use when docked. There is still a diesel generator installed, but if it is turned off, and there is power left in the batteries, there are no emissions when docked.
The Japanese government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism helped with subsidizing the Emerald Ace, as it was a great chance to sponsor the reduction of CO2 emissions in ocean-traveling ships. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, a non-profit society that contributes to ship classifications, also gave support in an effort to lessen the impact of the shipping industry on the environment.