Eco Marine Power (EMP), which develops fuel and emission reduction solutions for ships, has won a patent from Japan Patent Office (JPO) for the core elements of EnergySail technology.
Specially designed for shipping industry, EnergySail is an advanced rigid sail device that can be incorporated into various renewable energy technologies including solar panels or wind power devices.
EnergySail can also be installed in a variety of vessels ranging from cargo ships and RoRo vessels to passenger ferries and coastguard ships.
With the newly granted patent, EMP will be able to licence the technology to start commercial production of EnergySail device and related technologies by 2018.
The main design elements covered by the patent include EnergySail’s grid structure, functional panels and device for reducing sudden wind loads.
According to EMP, these elements can be used in a sail type device or as a platform for wind power and solar power devices.
Eco Marine Power chief technology officer Greg Atkinson said: "This is another important milestone for Eco Marine Power and the granting of this patent illustrates the innovative nature of the fuel and emission reduction solutions we are developing for shipping.
“The technologies associated with this patent have applications across shipping and could also be incorporated into coastal or offshore renewable energy projects."
Japan’s Teramoto Iron Works of Onomichi already manufactured the first production version of EnergySail.
Earlier this year, EMP won a patent in Japan and the US for another concept related to the use of wind and solar power from ships.
The company is additionally involved in developing sustainable ship concepts that incorporate new renewable energy technologies.
Image: EnergySail can be installed in a variety of vessels such as cargo ships, RoRo vessels, passenger ferries and coastguard ships. Photo: courtesy of Eco Marine Power.