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Local Gov't, University to Co-develop 'Solar Ship'

2019/08/27 17:02
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Mihama-cho (town), Fukui Prefecture, Japan, concluded a contract with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (Kaiyodai) on the co-development of an electric-powered ship using solar electricity (solar ship) Aug 21, 2019.

An industry-government-academia group including local businesses will co-develop a system in the aim of completing a test ship within fiscal 2019.

The town has been examining the possibility of introducing a solar ship for a business that uses a pleasure boat on Mikata Five Lakes. The town researched the cases of the introduction of solar ships in Japan and found that an electric-powered ship developed by Kaiyodai meets the specifications required for the business. Therefore, it concluded the contract on the joint research this time.

Kaiyodai built the "Raicho I" electric-powered ship that uses an lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery and motor as a driving force and supports rapid charging in May 2010. Moreover, it completed the "Raicho S" waterjet-propelled ship in June 2013 and the "Raicho N" hybrid ship designed for increasing size and cruising range in March 2014.

The "Raicho N" electric-powered ship developed by Kaiyodai (source: Mihama-cho (Fukui Prefecture) and Kaiyodai)

In the joint research, the Raicho N will sail in a sea area near the university. The research group will set a planned travel distance, speed pattern, etc. It will examine and estimate the state of the new ship to be built based on the analysis of location, speed, distance, power consumption, motor output, charging time, etc.