Increase in windship technology projects

bound4blue vessel Bound4 Blue in Spain will be retrofitting two vessels with its wingsail technology. Credit: bound4blue

There has been an increase in windship technology projects coming online and demonstrator/sea trials, the International Windship Association (IWSA) has said.

The organisation stated said these wind propulsion projects include involvement from ship owners such as Maersk, Viking lines and MOL through to shipyards such as STX France and all main classification societies.

Norsepower said it has seen an increase in the installation of Flettner rotors in the last half year. Up until Nov 2017, it had two vessels with six rotors between them. Since then, three vessels have been fitted with an additional six rotors and by the end of 2018 these will be joined by a Maersk tanker with 2 x 30m rotors.

Diverse applications

STX France has launched a new line of specialist primary wind propulsion expedition cruise vessels. The largest is the Silenseas 190, a 190m long, seven deck wind auxiliary vessel, with a maximum speed under sail of 17 knots.

bound4blue in Spain will be retrofitting two vessels with its wingsail technology. A 20x8m wingsail will be installed on a 40m longliner fishing vessel based in Peru. Old general cargo vessel Naumon, owned by the La Fura dels Baus theatre company in Barcelona, will also be retrofitted.

A Neoline project is ongoing to build a 136m, 6,000dwt, primary wind propulsion RoRo vessel in France. The final restitution of the technical specifications of the ship is currently being decided to enable a call for tender to shipyards.

Land tests have also been completed for Japan’s Wind Challenger project and MOL has been has been assessing vessels for a demonstrator and are looking to retrofit a selected bulker vessel during the next dry dock cycle within the next 18 months.

Modular design

There has also been an increase in projects within IWSA looking at more modular design for wind propulsion systems.

Wind+Wing Technologies has launched a 10m catamaran, with roughly a 12m wing that showcases a new flap running vertical on entire trailing edge of the wing for its WingDrive product. WWT’s Container Wings use WingDrive technology and package it as two wings stowed horizontally inside a standard 40ft shipping container. The Dutch based eConowind containerised Ventofoil system is also in development.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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