After having developed the so-called Solar Shutter for barges (inland shipping), Wattlab is currently standing on the brink of a new introduction: the Solar Flatrack. This modular solar energy system for seagoing ships (outland shipping) serves the same purpose as the Solar Shutter: reducing emission of CO2 by generating solar energy.

The Solar Flatrack consists of a relocatable, waterproof thin plate with integrated solar panels, and it functions as a sustainable generator. It looks like a flat box, with a plug that transfers back the energy supply to the board. Due to its standardized measures and attachment method, the model can be used on nearly any bulk transport ship.

Preparation phase of the pilot

In collaboration with Vertom, a shipping company from Rotterdam, Watllab is conducting a feasibility study and a practice test. Co-founder Bo Salet: “We hope to be able to execute a pilot aboard a ship this summer. In this crucial phase we aim to prove it’s also effective for outland shipping. For inland shipping, we have already proven our added value.” If the test results are positive, the new product will be for sale about a year from now. The product can reduce the CO2 emission of a ship by 100 ton per year.

Constructive attitude of the municipality

According to Bo, Rotterdam is the obvious location to rollout this business case. “The port is a very practical location for maritime projects. Next to that, entrepreneurs in Rotterdam are actively stimulated in their activities by the municipality, especially if these activities concern sustainability projects. Right now, we are still in the early phase of the pilot and are open to all input. After all, at this point we can still consider critique and perspectives and integrate these to improve our product. Especially feedback from shipping companies. This enables us to shape the product to the demands of our future customers. We look forward to the reactions!”