Japanese firms to build solar-powered car ship

While much of the focus of carbon dioxide reduction has been placed on ground transport, it only accounts for about 20 percent of those emissions. At least as much is spewed during ocean-going shipping, and it presents another place to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air. To that end, Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen is collaborating with Nippon Oil to develop a solar array to be mounted on a car-carrying ship. The ship is normally powered by a diesel electric system like a locomotive. Diesel engines drive generators that power electric motors. The 40 kW solar array is expected to reduce the fuel consumption of the ship by about 6.5 percent and CO2 emissions by about 1-2 percent. While solar systems have been used to power auxiliary systems on big ships, this will be the first major use for propulsion. The durability of the solar system in the salty sea air will be one of the major issues to overcome. The ship which will be completed at the end of this year will be used to transport Toyotas from Japan.
[Source: Reuters]

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