There has been increasing interest from ship owners to learn more about wind-assist and primary wind propulsion and engage with test installations, said the International Windship Association (IWSA).

In its quarterly newsletter, published last month, the IWSA highlighted recent commercial wind propulsion project developments.

These included the eConowind unit which has been tested on multiple vessels with the conclusion that fuel savings were highest when the motor power was reduced to keep the speed the same. Tests recorded 800 litres/day savings during a period of time with optimum conditions.

Testing technology

Testing of the MariGREEN EcoFlettner rotor installed on Fehn Pollux found that depending on the required ship speed & actual power of the main engine, savings of approx. 10-20% can be expected on the vessel.

Nantes start-up Neoline has entered into a partnership with the Renault Group to transport Renault cars aboard new build Neoliners on a France-Canada route.

Norsepower has announced it is ready to rent out its wind-assisted rotor sails. A lease financing package will allow owners to make fuel savings without the cost of buying its wind power units.

A GB£100,000 12-month feasibility study has begun examining the potential of fitting sail technology onto Ultrabulk ships for testing by the Smart Green Shipping Alliance.

Bound4Blue will build a 20m wingsail for the Balueiro II, owned by La Fura dels Baus. Construction will start in a few months and integration in the last quarter of 2019, supported by an EU grant.

The MV Afros, an Ultramax bulk carrier fitted with Anemoi’s Flettner Rotor system and managed by Blue Planet Shipping, has been named ‘Ship of the Year’ at the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards 2018.

French cruise ship operator Ponant has partnered with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to begin Solid Sail system trials. Comprising fibreglass, carbon & epoxy resin panels in a carbon-slat frame, the system was installed on luxury yacht, Le Ponant for testing.

MARIN and Peutz have partnered to wind tunnel test a DynaRig sail and a Flettner rotor at the Peutz facility in the Netherlands. The wind tunnel data from these combined tests will be used to validate the models for use on a free sailing scale model in the Marin Wind Lab experiments.

Blue Technology has secured Danish Maritime Fund funding to develop its sail prototype, a stayed wing, which can rotate 360 degrees and is scaled to generate sufficient power to manage primary propulsion in gentle to strong wind conditions.

Verna Inventions has also developed a stabilised self-climbing sail prototype.

Small cargo vessel developments

Swire Shipping and Micronesian Sustainable Transport Centre (MCST) have signed an MOU for Project Cerulean, which aims to demonstrate the viability of a commercial, sail-powered freighter in the Pacific region. The Transition to Low Carbon Sea Transport project will also demonstrate wind-powered shipping in two settings in RMI: intra-lagoon and inter-island.

Sail Cargo Inc. is currently building the Ceiba (Carbon Negative Marine Freight) vessel at its shipyard in Costa Rica, while grant approved Go Sail Cargo has announced a production-ready version of its electric ferry, the Secret 33.

The ‘GreenSailer’ project, run by Hochschule Leer/Emden, is developing a prototype of a cargo glider which can fulfil the vision of a zero-emission ship. Focus is now on the ecological/economic benefits of sail technology and the theme of vessel energy-management.

Sail Line Fish, which is developing a sail fishing boat with integrated electric hybrid propulsion, recently completed access to foreshore - to build a small workboats & fishing vessel harbour

Timbercoast, which owns AVONTUUR, is seeking collaborative and progressive sponsorship opportunities to further elevate the awareness around a clean shipping sector.

By Rebecca Jeffrey