Monday, 18 Jan, 2010 Technology
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Japanese Researchers Develop Electric and Hybrid Vessels

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With an increasing demand in eco-friendly vehicles, IHI Marine United Inc., a subsidiary of IHI Corp., a company that specializes in producing heavy machinery, decided to create a plug-in vessel powered by lithium-ion batteries.

The company's Zero Emission Electric Propulsion Ship will be able to recharge its batteries at special charging stations that will be placed in ports visited by the ship. The zero-emissions ship will replace the one that runs on diesel engine.

The 300-meter ferry will be able to carry up to 800 passengers. Its batteries will register an output about 200-300 times greater than the one required by electric cars. According to the designer, a full battery charge will be enough for the Electric Propulsion Ship to travel 180km.

The ship is expected to be on sale by 2015, just in time for low-cost lithium-ion batteries. While the current ship is designed for short distances, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. looks forward to develop a long-distance cargo ship, which will be powered by a diesel-electric hybrid system. Currently the company works on a joint research project together with scientists from Osaka University, informs Asahi.com.

The new hybrid vessel is expected to be completed in 2012. The ship will cut carbon emissions by 50 percent. Besides, its main diesel engine will also play the role of an electricity generator that will be used to recharge batteries. The produced electricity will be used to power the electric motor when the ship moves through high seas and needs greater propulsion power.

Posted by greendan80

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