Tuesday, 07 Jul, 2009 Environment

World's First Ship that Uses Solar Energy to Power Its Main Electrical Grid


This huge solar-powered ship is called M/V Auriga Leader. It features 328 solar panels mounted on its top deck. Auriga Leader is part of a demonstration project developed by the Port of Long Beach, Toyota and NYK Line, a shipping company with headquarters in Tokyo.

The ship is the world's first to use solar energy for its power needs. With the help of solar panels the ship is able to burn less diesel fuel while in port. The solar array of Auriga Leader can produce about 40 kilowatts, which is enough to power 10 average homes.

Although previously there were other ships that used solar energy to power some small electronics, such as auxiliary lights, this ship is the first in the world to use solar energy to power its main electrical grid (at infoniac.com you can find additional information about green technology, so check out the links below this story).

According to Fumihiko Shimizu, manager of the U.S. car carrier group for NYK Logistics and Megacarrier, an NYK subsidiary, at the moment the company is in the process of estimating the effectiveness of the solar panels. Engineers still have to see whether the panels are able to withstand corrosive effects of salt sea air.

The 60,000-ton Auriga Leader is 665 feet long. At the same time it is a rather simple vessel in terms of requirements when it arrives in port. It is worth mentioning that the shipping business is very hazardous for the environment, generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases and though Auriga Leader's 328 solar panels will not significantly cut the ship's emissions it is still a very important step towards a greener shipping business.

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