Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) says it has determined the exterior and basic design of a car carrier aiming at zero emissions while berthed. The solar hybrid ship has benefited from a subsidy from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) as a "project that develops systems to reduce CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels." The vessel will be launched at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Kobe shipyard in June 2012.
The vessel will be equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines solar power panels for generation with lithium-ion batteries for power storage. The system is the result of a cooperative study group of experts from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sanyo Electric Group, and MOL. With solar panels on every area of flat, exposed upper deck space, this system generates some 160 kW, making it the most powerful system of its type in the world.
The lithium-ion batteries can store some 2.2 MWh of electricity, and the power generated by the panels while the ship is under way is stored in the batteries and used to power the ship's systems while it is berthed. The system eliminates the need for diesel-powered generators, enabling the ship to achieve zero emissions at the pier.
In addition, the lithium-ion batteries are placed in the bottom of the vessel, taking the place of fixed ballast, so they have no effect on the number of vehicles the vessel can carry.
The logo SOLAR HYBRID is painted on the sides of the vessel near the stern to identify its hybrid system and its use of natural energy.
Capacity: 6,400 vehicles (standard passenger cars)
LOA: 199.0 m
Beam: 32.26 m
Draft: 9.725 m
July 14, 2011