Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) is scheduled to launch its Hybrid Car Carrier in June 2012. The vessel will be equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines solar power panels for generation with lithium-ion batteries for power storage. The system is the result of a cooperative study group of experts from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sanyo Electric Group, and MOL. With solar panels on every bit of flat, exposed upper deck space, this system generates some 160kW, more than ten times as much as current systems on other ships, making it the most powerful system of its type in the world.
The lithium-ion batteries can store some 2.2MWh of electricity, and the power generated by the panels while
the ship is under way is stored in the batteries and used to power the ship’s systems while it is berthed. The system eliminates the need for diesel-powered generators, enabling the ship to achieve zero emissions atthe pier. In addition, the lithium-ion batteries are placed in the bottom of the vessel, taking the place of fixed ballast, so they have no effect on the number of vehicles the vessel can carry.
The development of this vessel was subsidized by the MLIT as a “project that develops systems to reduce CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels”, and it is supported as a “cooperative development project to reduce greenhouse gases produced by ocean shipping” from the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai. The power supply system represents a significant step forward in realizing ISHIN-I, the concept for the next generation car carrier.