Monday, June 21, 2021

As Wind Propulsion at Sea Develops a Project to Encourage the Uptake of Technology Begins

New Initiative to Push Development in the Merchant Fleet
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – US – WORLDWIDE – Hydrodynamic research and maritime technology group the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) has cooperated with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and a host of other participants to take the investigation of the practicalities of wind propulsion in the merchant fleet to the next level.

With many of the major tanker and container fleet owners around the globe looking at harnessing wind power, either via Flettner type rotor sails or kites, to reduce their fuel dependence and lower emissions, the partners have launched a project, WiSP2 to investigate ways to overcome the barriers to wind propulsion uptake.

WiSP2 will focus on making evaluations within EEDI and EEXI, but also from real operational conditions. The aim is to prove the level of fuel savings ship owners can expect, enabling them to make informed investment decisions, whilst also keeping the upcoming CII requirements in mind. At the same time, compliance to rules and regulations is addressed, specifically on manoeuvring. Patrick Hooijmans, Team leader Transport & Shipping, the project lead from MARIN, said:

“This Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WiSP) 2 picks up where the successful phase I project left off with a wider scope and fed by additional insights gained from our earlier phase of analysis.”

Jan Otto de Kat, Director of the Global Sustainability Center in Copenhagen and co-initiator from ABS said the new findings from WiSP2 will be condensed in updated recommended methods for performance prediction and reported as submissions to the MEPC and potentially other committees in the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The scope of the project over the next two years will include the following:

  • Improve methods for transparent performance prediction, extending the considered wind propulsors and propulsion line types compared to the previous WiSP project.
  • Apply the new methods in cases, including a validation case.
  • Further review of the regulatory perspective, recommend improvements and clarifications, and provide examples to establish compliance.
  • Development of a basic performance prediction tool, to be used by participants.
  • Proposal for (in-service) speed trials with wind-assist technologies.
  • Assess the influence of manoeuvring compliance and course keeping.

The project is open for additional participants and a reduced entry fee is available for additional organisations joining before August 1st 2021. Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of the International Windship Association (IWSA) concluded:

“We are looking forward to being involved and following the progress of this project. A project that will culminate in a set of recommendations and a software tool to prepare exploratory performance predictions for wind propulsion systems is another important step forward for the sector.”