Finnish cleantech company Norsepower and logistics provider SEA-CARGO have inked a deal to install two of Norsepower’s largest Rotor Sails onboard the SC Connector, a side door Ro-Ro.
The agreement also heralds the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, an innovation that has resulted from the need to adapt the technology to the sailing requirements of the ship.
Developed in tandem by the two companies, the 35m high and 5m wide Rotor Sails are able to tilt to almost horizontal when required.
The SC Connector, a 12,251 gross tonne (GT) Ro-Ro cargo vessel operates in the North Sea, which allows for some of the most favourable wind conditions for Rotor Sails.
However, the routes involve navigating under multiple bridges and powerlines which require the technology to have a tilting function.
Based on the analysis of the ship’s routes, Norsepower estimates that its technology would be able to achieve a carbon emissions reduction of 25% for this vessel.
“We are delighted to be working with SEA-CARGO, not only as they are keen to demonstrate their commitment to maximising the propulsive power of wind to reduce emissions, but also for their cooperation and innovation in making tilting Rotor Sails a realisation,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said.
“Rotor Sails are particularly well suited to Ro-Ro vessels and working with SEA-CARGO to deliver a tilting Rotor Sail ensures we are providing an adaptable solution which fits with particular vessel requirements, specifically demonstrating vessels with height restrictions to benefit from the Rotor Sail solution.”
Preparations for the retrofit on the SC Connector are currently taking place with the installation scheduled for Q4 2020, Norsepower said.
“With a growing international focus on reducing CO2 emissions and other gases/particles – the ability to harness wind to generate energy, reduce fuel consumption and emissions is a natural next step for the maritime transport industry,” Ole Sævild, Managing Director, SEA-CARGO, added.
“The goal of this project has been to design more environmentally friendly vessels by combining several existing technologies. In good wind conditions, the sailing hybrid vessel will maintain regular service speed by sail alone.”
The Norsepower Rotor Sail is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the Rotor Sails start automatically.
It is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship.
It can be fitted on both new ships and those already in operation.