Nippon Yusen KK and Nippon Oil Corp are working on the world’s first solar powered ship … well, at least partially solar powered, they are saying. What? A hybrid ship? The two companies want to put solar panels on top of the 60,000-ton ship that are capable of generating 40 kilowatts of electricity each.
The ship will carry Toyota cars. Is anybody surprised?
Fuel savings are expected to be in the neighborhood of 6.5% and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 1-2% or 20 tons per year. It will cost Nippon Usen about $1.4 million to create the solar panel system.
The ship is expected to be completed by December with damage to the panels from salt and vibration the biggest obstacles.
A Nippon Oil dude says, “If it’s possible, we want to aim for the full commercialization of the system in the next three to five years.” Yeah, we got to make money out of this operation, for sure.