World’s first solar-powered ship getting power upgrades

NYK Lines has announced that the M/V Auriga Leader, the world’s first solar power cargo ship, will be undergoing further developments to strengthen the vessels efficiency.  Starting in June, the vessel will be fitted with a new hybrid power supply system, a ballast water management system and will be adapted to use low-sulfur fuel in order to further reduce fuel costs and cut carbon emissions.

Since completion of the vessel in December 2008, the car carrier M/V Auriga Leader has been equipped with 328 solar panels placed on its deck as an alternative source of power. Tests, however, have revealed power generation and storage difficulties in adverse weather conditions. It was also found that making the solar panels bigger resulted in problematic fluctuations in the power supply.

The Auriga Leader’s new hybrid power supply system now being installed is intended to provide a more stable onboard power supply in the event of harsh weather through the combination of solar power generation and the hybrid power supply system.