Illustration shows two Flettner rotor sails installed onboard a Maersk Tanker vessel. Photo: Maersk Tankers/Norsepower
A Maersk-owned tanker is set to be fitted with two Flettner rotor sails as part of a industry project seeking to test the century-old wind propulsion technology’s potential to reduce fuel consumption in modern day shipping.
The project will be the first installation of the wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker, and will provide insights into fuel savings and operational experience.
Partners in the project include Norwegian rotor sail company Norsepower Oy Ltd, in partnership with Maersk Tankers, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and Shell Shipping & Maritime.
Maersk Tankers will supply a 109,647-deadweight tonne (DWT) Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker which will be retrofitted with two 30m tall by 5m diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails. Combined, the alternative propulsion technology is expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7 to 10 percent.
The rotor sails will be fitted aboard the Maersk Tankers vessel during the first half of 2018, before undergoing testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. Each Rotor Sail is made using intelligent lightweight composite sandwich materials. When wind conditions are favorable, the main engines can be throttled back, providing a net fuel cost and emission savings, while not impacting scheduling. Independent experts will analyze the data gathered from the project before publishing technical and operational insights, and performance studies, the companies say.
Experimentation with Flettner rotors to aid in ship propulsion dates all the way back to the 1920’s. Although the technology has not been widely adopted, modern Flettner rotors are currently in use aboard the E-Ship 1, which has four large rotor sails and is owned by wind turbine manufacturer Enercon. Also the roll-on/roll-off vessel MV Estraden operates North Sea and is equipped with two Norsepower Rotor Sails
G Captain for the post!