Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced tests of a new wind power generator aboard the wood chip carrier Taiho Maru. MOL, the Research Institute of Science and Technology of Tokyo University, and Nishishiba Electric began developing the system in 2002. They have now successfully produced a prototype model of a permanent magnet generator with 3 kW rated output. The electricity generated by this new system will power the bridge air conditioning system. This is the world’s first trial of a wind power generator on board a vessel.
The wind power generator is of a straight wing vertical axis type with the overall dimensions 2m (H) x 2.5m (W). The omnidirectional design of the turbine element makes it suitable for onboard installation, as the wind direction has no effect on the generator’s performance.
The system also includes a battery, control system and a data recorder. The generator output and other operational parameters will be automatically recorded to provide feedback for future development. The generated electricity is stored in the accumulator battery and then supplied to the air conditioner installed on the bridge for this test. The generator may produce an estimated 7,000-9,000 kWh a year, according to earlier land-based tests in presence of wind velocities typically experienced by vessels at sea.
MOL intends to utilize the natural energy of wind power in its comprehensive approach to enhance the environmental friendliness of its vessels – specifically, reducing emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx, and other pollutants.