Finnish clean technology firm Norsepower has installed two of its propulsion-assisting rotor sails onboard Maersk Pelican, a Maersk Tankers product tanker vessel.
The rotor sails are large spinning cylinders that create a pressure differential, known as the Magnus Effect, which propels a vessel forward. The technology helps to optimize fuel efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions by an approximate 7 to 10 per cent in average global wind conditions.
“While the industry has gone through decades of technological development, the use of wind propulsion technology onboard a product tanker vessel could take us to a new playing field,” says Tommy Thomassen, chief technical officer, Maersk Tankers. “This new technology has the potential to help the industry be more cost-competitive as it moves cargoes around the world for customers and to reduce environmental impact.”
At 30m tall by 5m wide, the rotor sails are the largest in the world and were installed in the Port of Rotterdam. Maersk Pelican’s first voyage with the rotor sails will commence in the coming weeks. Measurement and evaluation of the sails’ effectiveness will take place when the ship is underway, with experts from Lloyd’s Register’s ship performance team employed to analyze the data.
Norsepower’s sails have already been installed on two commercial vessels: the ro-ro ship Estraden and the cruise ferry Viking Grace.
“Each of these cases represents a very different vessel type and operational profile, demonstrating the widespread opportunity to harness the wind through Flettner rotors across the maritime industry,” says Tuomas Riski, Norsepower’s CEO. “We have great ambitions for our technology and its role in decarbonizing the shipping industry”