March 10, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. has developed a new wind power generator and will start tests aboard the wood chip carrier Taiho Maru. Mitsui OSK, the Tokai University Research Institute of Science and Technology, and Nishishiba Electric Co., Ltd. began developing the system in 2002 and successfully produced a prototype model. The generator is installed where it is exposed to the strongest winds on the vessel. The electricity it generates will be used in an isolated system so it will not affect the operation of other systems on the ship. The system includes a generator that receives wind to generate electricity; an accumulator battery that stores the generated electricity; a control system that controls the output and braking according to the wind speed; and a data collection device that will be utilized for future development. The electricity generated is stored in the accumulator battery and then supplied to the air conditioner installed on the bridge for this test. The output of the generator and other data will be automatically recorded in the data collection device. The generator may produce an estimated 7,000-9,000 kWh a year, according to on-land test data based on the wind velocity a ship is subjected to while under way. The ship sets out on a voyage for Australia on March 10. During its test voyage, the electricity generated by this new system will power the bridge air conditioning. This is the world’s first trial of a wind power generator on board a vessel.