Benefits of Vindskip Wind Powered Freighter
In order to create more eco-friendly and energy-efficient ships, engineers have been working on alternative fuels and energy sources for a long time now, but the Norwegian VindskipTM has the ability to turn things around quite a bit, since it happens to be powered by wind and gas. The need for optimum use of wind energy has been balanced out with software developed by Fraunhofer.
International shipping is currently transporting up to 90% of all goods on the planet, which means the use of heavy fuel oil as an energy source for freighters only makes pollution far worse globally. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been looking for ways to reduce the environmental pollution of ocean liners for many years now, with different measures taken to make that happen. From 2020 ships will only be allowed to make use of fuel that has 0.1 percent sulfur in their fuel supply in certain areas around the world. Higher quality fuels with less sulfur inside however tend to be quite expensive, especially compared to the usual fuel used by most companies. Shipping companies will thus face a serious challenge in the future if they wish to comply with emission guidelines and the rising need for eco-friendly energy sources. The use of the ship will allow a wide range of goods moving across the ocean, possibly even allowing for moving companies to take advantage of its capabilities.
There are new ways to reduce fuel consumption, as well as emission and other expenses that is being pursued by the Norwegian engineer Terje Lade, the managing director of Lade AS. The VindskipTM has been designated as a new type of ship using wind propulsion instead of heavy oil. Although this has been a staple of maritime travel for centuries, the unique approach of the VindskipTM is something new: the hull of the freighter itself is a wing sail. When traversing the high seas, VidskipTM will be able to benefit from free-blowing wind which in turn will help its energy efficiency by a great deal. When it comes to lower winds, the ship will count on maintaining a constant speed by using a cost-effective propulsion engine using liquefied natural gas. Using this combination of wind and natural gas as an alternative to the heavy fuel oil used in most of today’s freighters fuel, consumption rates are expected to be about only a 60% compared to a reference ship on the average. Carbon dioxide emissions are also expected to be reduced by an impressive 80% as well, based on the company calculations.
To ensure optimal course on the sea and taking advantage of weather patterns, the ship uses a weather routing module ensuring a more efficient operation. To ensure that optimal sailing route, the Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services researchers have worked on developing a special, customized weather routing module for the VindskipTM. The module makes use of meteorological data and uses a navigation algorithm to calculate a maximally efficient angle to wind to make use of the design in the fullest. This allows one to use as little fuel as possible on the seas, reducing the overall costs of moving and travel. The largest part of shipping industry costs still lie in bunker expenses, which means this is a welcome addition for lowering the overall costs of moving merchandise on sea routes. When it comes to complex calculations done by the module, data comes in from meteorological services for wave height and wind speed to ensure optimal travel.
So how is the VindskipTM pulled forward as it travels? The ship design angle is closer to headwind and it generates a force in the direction of the ship’s travel, thus pulling it forward. The hull itself is shaped as a symmetrical air foil, using the wind on the opposite, leeward side to travel a long distance. This force creates a vacuum that pulls the ship as it travels. The design allows the freighter to move at speeds bordering on 19 knots, just as fast as others more conventionally powered ships. The low fuel consumption allows for liquid natural gas for a 70 day steaming between needing bunkering. Emission control is one of the first things the creators are going for as well as emission control.
Ship types similar to the VindskipTM design are truck and car carriers, large ferries, LNG carriers and container ships, allowing the module to have a wider implementation on the market. Terje Lade has planned the ship to set sail in 2019.
Heather Roberts is a content writer from London, UK. She has great flair for decoration and interior design. She is searching for new challenges and hence often moves to different places.