German coaster in prototype Eco-Flettner project

Fehn Pollux is first to try out new Eco-Flettner system Fehn Pollux is first to try out new Eco-Flettner system

A new rotor sail propulsion system prototype is being installed on general cargo ship 'Fehn Pollux' in north Germany, reports Germany correspondent Tom Todd

A spokeswoman for German maritime support and project coordination group MARIKO told The Motorship the installation of one prototype Eco-Flettner rotor started on 1 June at the SEC Services shipyard in Leer.

The work will last about 20 days. Test operation will follow and “if long-term testing is successful, additional rotors could of course be installed”, the spokeswoman said. As yet there are no orders for further rotors.

The Eco-Flettner system on the 4,200dwt multi-purpose coaster Fehn Pollux, part of the fleet of Fehn Ship Management, consists of an 18 meter high and 3m diameter composite fibre cylinder weighing about 100 tonnes, with a 70kW electric drive motor and a power consumption of 20-30kW.

Fehn Ship Management said trial operation would investigate rotor effects on ship behaviour and verify favourable computer simulation data obtained on land. Fehn said the new lightweight system and aerodynamic rotors exploited a wide range of wind speeds. It is hoped that the additional thrust gained from wind energy will reduce both fuel consumption and harmful emissions. As sailing power increases, power from the ship’s MWM Deutz SBV 9M 628 main engine can also be reduced, Fehn said.

The Fehn Pollux trials are part of a Wind Hybrid Coaster project aimed at developing a new generation of short sea multi-purpose motor-rotor-sailing ships of around 4.000dwt. The project involves the Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences, MARIKO and MariGreen which groups a cluster of regional concerns, among them Fehn Ship Management. The work is being part funded by the EU, the Netherlands and Germany.

“We are glad this project is now being realised”, said Fehn Ship Management MD Matthias Hesse. “We have been working on alternative ship drive systems for a long time ... (and) we will play our part in making the test a success”.

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