Friday, July 12, 2019

Wind Powered Merchant Ships on the Agenda - Again  

Oldest Technology Making a Comeback

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Shipping News Feature US – NETHERLANDS – The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Netherlands based research institute, MARIN have launched a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to investigate transparent and validated methods to assess performance of wind-assisted shipping propulsion technologies, which they say will be a key driver in owners/operators future investment decision-making.

The JIP covers the majority of all marketed wind-assisted ship propulsion systems and aims to overcome barriers to the uptake of these technologies by improving methods for transparent performance prediction, using the improved methods to provide ship owners/operators with fast predictions for their fleet, and reviewing the regulatory environment to identify gaps and make recommendations and provide examples on establishing compliance. Gurinder Singh, ABS Global Sustainability Director, said:

“As the regulatory framework increases pressure to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the time is right to explore the potential of wind to generate savings on emissions, fuel and cost. This project has significant potential to reduce barriers to the adoption of sustainable wind propulsion technologies and make a positive contribution to achieving IMO 2030 and 2050 objectives.

“Through the ABS Global Sustainability Center, ABS is supporting leading-edge maritime sustainability initiatives all over the world. This JIP with MARIN is just the latest example of how we can help the industry transition to a low carbon economy.”

Wind-assisted propulsion technologies decrease the fuel consumption of a merchant vessel through the use of sails or some other device converting the kinetic energy of the wind into thrust. Patrick Hooijmans, MARIN Senior Project Manager Ships, said:

“A major barrier to use of wind energy on board is the shortage of transparent and independently verified methods to predict the performance of wind propulsors. A reliable model will assist in adoption, as the profitability of an investment is in a subjective realm of wide-spread opinions. Furthermore, the industry can use examples and custom work to demonstrate compliance with statutory and class rules and regulations. MARIN and ABS are committed to exploring ways of overcoming these barriers.”

As well as ABS and MARIN, the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion project brings together a range of partners from the shipping industry, including China Ship Scientific Research Centre (CSSRC), Vale SA, Delft University of Technology, Dykstra Naval Architects, Eco Flettner, Norsepower, Berge Bulk, Computed Wing Sail, Anemoi, FinOcean.

The project, which remains open for interested parties to join, will be completed in two years. The results will remain confidential among the project participants for a further three years after completion.

Photo: Nothing new under the sun. The Buckau, the first flettner powered vessel dates back to the 1920’s.

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