Windship Technology Ltd, a sail power concept that is being developed by a consortium of five key players in the global shipping industry, could revolutionise the way tomorrow’s vessels carry goods across the world’s oceans.
The new concept, known as the Auxiliary Sail Propulsion System (ASPS), uses fixed wing sail technology, whereby two 35-metre high masts installed on the deck of a vessel will each have three aerodynamic wings fitted. The masts or rigs rotate automatically to exploit the power of the prevailing wind and, as the speeds and angles of the wind change, the system develops more power, allowing reductions in engine power to be made in order to achieve the same speed and so maximise on fuel saving.
The consortium approached Lloyd’s Register to give an independent assessment of the ASPS. LR’s Technical Investigation Department (TID) carried out CFD work on a Supramax bulk carrier in varying wind directions and speeds. These showed that ASPS has the potential to provide more than 50% of the required propulsive thrust a vessel needs depending on conditions. In the right conditions this could save a typical bulk carrier 30% of its fuel costs on a voyage.
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