|Operator:||Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Nippon Oil|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Car carrier|
|Length:||199.99 m (656.1 ft)|
|Beam:||32.26 m (105.8 ft)|
|Depth:||34.52 m (113.3 ft)|
Auriga Leader is a car carrier owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha used for shipping cars and mobile machineries worldwide, for example Toyota cars from Japan to United States. It is the first large ship to have auxiliary power partially supplied by photovoltaic panels.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Nippon Oil developed the Auriga Leader partly as an experimental vessel, where it is supposed to gather statistical research in how solar power can assist in powering a ship at sea. The ship's experimental stage has been planned for two years, and has as of September 8, 2009 completed 7 months of that period.
The solar panels produced 1.4 times more energy on the ship at sea than on land in Tokyo. It is not known what factors are having an impact on this, but it is suggested that being at sea means more sunlight and that the wind encountered cools off the panels and thus increasing efficiency.
The Auriga Leader's solar power capabilities produced as anticipated 0.05% of the ship's propulsion power and 1% of its electrical usage. This will contribute to lowering the ship's fuel usage by approximately 13 tons and its CO2 output by 40 tons.
- "Using Solar Power for Ship Propulsion The World First Solar-Powered Ship Sails" (Press release). NYK-Nippon Oil Joint Project. January 5, 2009.
- "NYK and Nippon Oil Corporation Joint Project Auriga Leader Completes Seven Months of Voyages Using Solar Power" (Press release). NYK Line. September 8, 2009.