Wind power gaining strength

09 Jun 2008

British company Shadotec is working with Wilhelmsen Marine Consultants (WMC) and Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) on a joint research project investigating the potential of utilising wingsail propulsion for commercial ships. The consortium, backed by substantial funding from the Norwegian National Research Council, has commissioned CFD Norway to estimate the potential savings in fuel consumption (and pollution from exhaust gas emissions) achievable by employing Shadotec wingsail thrust units to assist in the propulsion of ocean going vessels.

The Norwegian Marine Technology Research (Marintek), based in Trondheim, Norway, will also contribute, to evaluate manoeuvrability and sea keeping.
The initial project aim has been to investigate the feasibility and potential of fitting two fully automatic computer controlled Shadotec wingsail thrust units on a Ramform seismic exploration vessel owned by PGS, 102 metres long, fitted with a 30,000 bhp engine. The first initial investigation by CFD Norway has now been completed, and CFD Norway's analysis estimates that a PGS vessel fitted with two Shadotec wingsails, towing a typical array of hydrophonic cable assemblies at its standard speed of 5 knots, in a typical North Sea wind, could save more than 5% of its fuel consumption, while reducing pollution emissions by the same amount.

The companies say that these savings could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars per ship over the course of a year. When the cables are wound in and the ship relocates to its next field of exploration CFD Norway has confirmed that the fuel and pollution savings might be up to double the savings projected when towing at 5 knots.

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Wilhelmsen Ships Service AS

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