As part of a joint project with Singapore-based shipping company Masterbulk, Japanese Eco Marine Power (EMP) has installed a Furukawa Battery-manufactured UltraBattery (UB) pack on MV Panamana.

This battery pack will become part of an Aquarius Marine Solar Power solution developed by EMP and will be analysed jointly with Masterbulk and ZEABORN Ship Management (Singapore).

Deployment of the pack on the cargo ship comes with class-approved UB-50-12 Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries, as well an easy-to-install marine-grade battery frame kit.

Due to this combination, the ship’s technical team could load and install the batteries and frame kit onto the ship requiring only remote support.

“These long-life and very reliable batteries offer a cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion type batteries and are also relatively easier to install and maintain.”

Teramoto Iron Works manufactured the frame kit for the batteries. The kit was specifically designed so that it can be used with the UB-50-12 batteries.

Besides being safe, recyclable and offering a long cycle life, UB-50-12 VRLA hybrid batteries can be used for smart grid, wind power and solar power applications.

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Along with large capacity UB-1000, these batteries have a unique ultracapacitor technology, making it suitable to be used on ships, offshore platforms and land-based applications.

Furukawa Battery general manager of international sales Yasuhiro Kodaka said: “We are very pleased to see our high-quality UltraBattery series being used on ships. These long-life and very reliable batteries offer a cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion type batteries and are also relatively easier to install and maintain”.

Masterbulk CEO Lars Modin said: “At the core of Masterbulk’s corporate sustainability policy is a focus on protecting the planet and exploring the use of renewable energy on our ships, as part of our strategy to further reduce emissions and fuel consumption.”

Eco Marine Power develops renewable energy based fuel saving and emission reduction solutions for ships including passenger ferries, survey ships, oil tankers and cargo vessels. These technologies consist of EnergySail, Aquarius MAS and Aquarius MRE.

Currently, it is working on several design projects including Aquarius Eco Ship and Aquarius Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).