NameAuriga Leader Class and typeCar carrier Capacity6,200 cars Tonnage18.76 million kg
Completed2008 Depth34.52 m (113.3 ft) Length200 m Beam32 m
OperatorNippon Yusen, Nippon Oil
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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.