Priuses Delivered to U.S. Aboard Solar Powered Vessel

Solar Panels On Auriga Leader

Solar Panels On Auriga Leader

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The world's leading producer of hybrid vehicles has found another way to make the process of building and delivering vehicles cleaner and greener. Toyota has installed 328 solar panels on the Auriga Leader, a large car carrying vessel that transports Toyota products from Japan to the U.S.

The panels are attached to the top deck of the vessel some seven stories above the water. Their purpose is to offset the pollution created from the massive diesel engines. When docked, the vessel relies partly on solar power to keep certain system running thus reducing diesel fuel usage. The system is said to save about 6 tons of diesel fuel per trip.

During a recent trip, the Auriga Leader was loaded with approximately 6,200 vehicles. Surprisingly, 60 % of the vehicles on board were new 2010 Toyota Priuses. One of the world's greenest vessels carries one of the world's cleanest cars.

The Auriga Leader is not the first vessel outfitted with solar panels and it won't be the last. The ship successfully reduces emissions and the panel system has proved durable enough to make the journey across the ocean.

Large car carrying vessels consume a tremendous amount of fuel, offsetting a little by way of solar power really goes a long way. As this example shows, 12,000 pounds of diesel fuel was saved on a single trip. Now they just need to install a hybrid powertrain into the vessel and pave the way for future car carriers.


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Comments (4)
  1. Do you know if the propulsion system of the ship is electric or mechanically driven from the diesel engines? If there is no electric or hybrid electric propulsion system, then the solar panels just provide power to electronic systems aboard the ship, which does indeed reduce the load on the diesel generator.

  2. If there is any truth to the story that the 15 largest ships in the world generate the same amount of pollution as all the world's cars I doubt a few solar panels are going to make all the difference...

  3. Sounds like somebody still wishes we used whale oil lamps. Some ships are now using huge sails to cut oil usage, too. That cuts down on pollution and cost, but since it doesn't solve the whole world's problems, I suppose we should just sit down in our own refuse and die! A 'few solar panels' have made all the difference in my own life. I choose to live as long and well as I can, and encourage every one else to do the same.

  4. The propulsion system is not powered by solar energy. The solar energy is simply not enough. It powers generators which provide onboard electricity and powers some onboard systems. The panels provide enough energy to keep the ship afloat and active while docked, eliminating most of the idling while a ship is at port.

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