Wind power is gradually being introduced into trade and shipping industry

Published: 24.10.2017

The use of renewable energy is becoming more widespread in various branches of the economy. The trade and shipping industry has been no exception.

Wind power is gradually being introduced into trade and shipping industry

To date, the trade and shipping industry accounts for about 2.2% of the global carbon dioxide emissions, which is comparable to the emissions of the entire Germany. According to the estimates of the International Maritime Organization, the emission rate may increase ten times by 2050 if no actions are taken in the near future. The hybrid use of traditional diesel ship engines with turbosails is considered one of the alternate solutions to this problem.

The technology of application of a turbosail is in the use of wind energy based on the “Magnus effect”. The principal components of the technology are vertical rotating cylinders mounted on a ship's deck, which drive the vessel using wind energy. Due to the combined operation of engines and turbosails, there is a telling fuel economy.

The main feature of the turbosail is the capability to move the vessel in the desired direction, regardless of the wind moving direction. It should be noted that the application of this technology is a great incentive for the industry, which accounts for 90% of all international commercial traffic.

It is estimated that if “Norsepower Rotor Sails” (the leading manufacturer of the industry) switch all its 50,000 merchant ships to the use of turbosails, the fuel savings will amount to more than USD 7 billion annually, and emissions will be reduced in the number equivalent to approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.

Such a combined process solution can be used on various types of ships, including tankers, bulkers and other heavy vessels to reduce fuel consumption. Some cargo ships (such as the German “E-Ship 1” or the Finnish “Estraden”) are already equipped with turbosails. It is also known that large shipbuilding companies decided to equip their vessels with this technology beginning from 2018.

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