Thursday, October 29, 2020

Wind Power Now Firmly Back on the Greener Shipping Agenda as Rotors Set to Retrofit

Like Electric Trucks Century Old Technology Awakens to Harness Natural Forces
Shipping News Feature

UK – FINLAND – For the past few years we have written occasionally about rotor sails, the large tubular contraptions invented a century ago by Anton Flettner which harness the power of the prevailing winds to assist in the propulsion of any vessel to which they are fitted.

Lately however the world has woken up to the possibilities the technology holds as shipping aims toward a greener future and we have seen names such as Maersk, Shell, K Line, Hyundai and Stena all linked to newer wind assisted methods. One name of late however has been prominent as Wärtsilä has worked with a variety of partners, including Viking Line, in connection with the rotor system.

Last week the Finnish group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) tied to a License and Cooperation agreement with UK-based Anemoi Marine Technologies for the future sales and servicing of rotor sail solutions to the shipping industry. The Flettner rotors are comprised of vertical cylinders which, when driven to rotate, harness the renewable power of the wind to propel ships.

These highly efficient mechanical sails capitalise on the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect to provide additional thrust to vessels and deliver significant fuel and emission savings. Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Marine Technologies explains further:

“Our patented designs overcome operational constraints such as air draft and cargo handling, making the technology suitable for the majority of shipping sectors. As the industry focuses on emission reduction targets and energy saving, we are collaborating with Wärtsilä to strengthen our offering and facilitate the global uptake of our rotor sails by offering clients a full end-to-end solution including sales, supply and lifecycle support.”

Wärtsilä will fully integrate Anemoi Marine Technologies’ rotor sails within its propulsion business. By offering wind solutions as an integral part of Wärtsilä’s propulsion offering, compliance with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be further facilitated. Furthermore, it will extend Wärtsilä’s efforts to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

The collaboration will enable the adoption of wind assisted solutions for most marine vessel types, with the immediate focus likely to be on dry and wet bulk vessels, and the system will be suitable for both new build projects and for retrofitting to existing ships. Bernd Bertram, Vice President, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine Power concluded:

“Wärtsilä is committed to fully supporting its customers by reducing their operating costs and reducing the environmental impact of their operations. This agreement further enhances our ability to meet this commitment, and we look forward to working closely with Anemoi Marine Technologies to realise the potential of this technology.”