Wind Propulsion for Shipping
Norsepower and Bore recently announced the successful sea trial of Norsepower's Rotor Sail Solution, a new form of wind propulsion technology for the shipping industry.
The sea trials, verified by NAPA, and supported by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, confirm fuel savings of 2.6% using a single small Rotor Sail on route in the North Sea. With these fuel savings, the technology has a payback period of four years.
Based on the trials alone, Norsepower and Bore believe that a full system with two rotors has the potential to deliver 5% efficiency savings on an ongoing basis. Norsepower forecasts savings of 20% for vessels with multiple, large rotors, traveling on favourable wind routes.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution was recently installed on the 9,700 DWT Ro-Ro carrier MS Estraden. Owned by Bore, the leading Finnish Ro-Ro Shipping Company, MS Estraden operates in a continuous service between the Netherlands and the UK, sailing through the North Sea's windy corridors at speeds of sixteen knots.
According to Norsepower CEO, Thomas Riski:
"These successful trials in wind technology are a ground-breaking moment, not only for Norsepower, but also the wider development of wind propulsion technology for shipping. The results suggest that when Norsepower's technology is implemented at scale, it can produce up to 20% net savings in fuel costs with a payback period of less than four years at current fuel prices, confirming that wind technologies are commercially-viable solutions that reduce fuel and carbon emissions in the industry."
The trials were measured and analyzed with continuous monitoring systems from maritime data analysis software and services provider, NAPA, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT collected data over a six-month period, during which both the Rotor Sail technology and automation system was operational 99% of the time. The results confirmed that Norsepower's rotor is able to produce large amounts of thrust force, which enables considerable fuel savings.
Reinforcing VTT's findings, NAPA conducted a randomised trial that found clear and significant savings, despite largely calm weather conditions throughout the study. After establishing a baseline profile of the vessel in normal operation, the Rotor Sail was activated and de-activated at random intervals to verify that any measured effect was solely due to the sail, and that any benefit was measurable across the vessel's operating profile. The average verified fuel savings during the trial in NAPA's analysis was 2.6%. The trial was conducted using Class NK-NAPA GREEN, the vessel performance monitoring and verification software system developed by NAPA and ClassNK, the world's leading class society.
According to Esa Hettinen, Executive Vice President of NAPA:
"As impartial data analysis and verification is vital for charters and shipowners looking to retrofit efficiency technology onto existing vessels, we used both randomised [trials] and advanced statistical modeling to ensure objective results. The Rotor Sail offered clear savings against this criteria and adds to a growing list of innovative eco-efficiency technologies that have [proven] themselves through robust data collection and advanced analytics."
Vice President of Bore, Jorgen Mansnerus, adds:
"We are proud to be the first shipowner to install the Norsepower Rotor Sail, and demonstrate that wind propulsion technology has verifiable 5% fuel savings on a yearly basis, can be retrofitted without any off-hire costs, and is extremely easy to use in practice. It's our goal to find ways to establish sustainable shipping with minimal impact on our environment."
Norsepower is one of several technology companies currently participating in a joint program with the Carbon War Room and UCL Energy Institute to fast-track adoption of emerging wind-propulsion technologies by the shipping industry.
The Chairman of the Carbon War Room, Maria Figueres, concludes:
"Modern wind systems are demonstrating measurable and meaningful fuel savings for ships. As wind propulsion, air bubble systems and other ground-breaking technologies are increasingly adopted and become mainstream, the industry will reap the rewards of lower fuel costs, [proving] more sustainable than those from short-term price decreases, and be able to stay ahead of external pressures."