K Line installs solar panels on new car carrier


The following is the text of a news release from Solar Frontier:

(TOKYO) — Solar Frontier has announced that its CIS solar panels were installed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K Line), one of Japan’s largest shipping companies, on its newest environmentally friendly transport ship.

K Line’s new ship, a car carrier named Drive Green Highway, integrates advanced energy-efficient technologies and design improvements to reduce its impact on the environment. It is the first of eight similar vessels that will be built under K Line’s Drive Green Project and was launched Tuesday at a ceremony in Nagasu Port in Kumamoto, a coastal city in southern Japan.

Drive Green Highway uses its sheer size to improve its emissions efficiency. The vessel is 656 feet long, 123 feet wide and uses an improved design that enables it to carry up to 7,500 passenger vehicles at once.

Drive Green Highway integrates among the world’s most advanced environmentally friendly and energy-saving technologies. These range from its greenhouse gas suppression systems in its engines to Solar Frontier’s CIS solar panels on its decks.

Combing the advantages of its design and technology improvements, Drive Green Highway will emit 25 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2), 50 percent less nitrogen-oxide (NOx) and 90 percent less sulfur-oxide (SOx) per vehicle transported.

Contributing to Drive Green Highway’s energy efficiency is one of the largest solar energy systems on any ship in the world. More than 900 of Solar Frontier’s CIS solar panels have been installed on Green Drive Highway’s top deck, totaling 150 kilowatt-peak of electricity generating capacity. The electricity generated by these solar panels will be used to power all LED lighting on the vehicle decks.

K Line selected Solar Frontier’s CIS modules to install on their new ship because they generate higher electricity yield (kilowatt-hours per kilowatt-peak) than crystalline silicon solar panels in real-world conditions. Their strength in hot environments and salt-mist environments, such as at sea, will support Drive Green Highway as it ships cargo around the world.

“K Line is demonstrating how solar energy can improve the energy efficiency and reduce the ecological impact of the shipping industry,” said Atsuhiko Hirano, CEO of Solar Frontier. “This is one example of the greater role that solar energy has to play in our future, supporting an ever broader range of technologies in a wider range of industries.”

By Professional Mariner Staff