Norsepower Rotor Sails reduce fuel consumption by 8.2% in test on Maersk tanker.
Norsepower Oy Ltd, together with project partners Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd, have declared a trial of two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard the tanker the Maersk Pelican a success.
“The Rotor Sails are large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to create a pressure differential, the Magnus Effect, that propels the vessel forward; in this instance a Maersk Tankers’ Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel. The Rotor Sails deliver auxiliary wind propulsion to the vessel - which have operated in conditions ranging from tropical climate to arctic conditions in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia – resulting in the optimisation of energy efficiency and a reduction in fuel consumption,” Norsepower explained.
The Rotor Sails were installed onboard Maersk Pelican in August 2018. When wind conditions are favourable the main engines can be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions, while maintaining speed and voyage time. Over the period September 2018 to 1 September 2019 the test showed an 8.2% saving in fuel consumption, equivalent to approximately 1,400 tonnes of CO2.
“The savings were confirmed by comparing detailed performance information to a baseline established with full scale measurements and computational analysis done for the vessel prior the Rotor Sail installation", Norsepower said. Test data were analysed and validated by independent experts from Lloyd’s Register’s (LR’s) Ship Performance Group.
“During the one-year trial period on Maersk Pelican, crew and operators have reported positively on the usability, safety and performance of the Rotor Sails in all conditions,” said Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Tankers.
“Maersk Tankers and the industry have developed and tested a number of technological solutions, which contribute to reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions. We see wind technology as one of the technologies that can give us a real breakthrough in reducing CO2 and help us achieve our emission-reduction target of 30% by 2021. We will closely follow the development around the financial and commercial viability of the technology for potential future installations on some of our other larger vessels, while we have decided that Maersk Pelican will continue to sail with the Rotor Sails.”
Tuomas Riski, CEO at Norsepower is pleased with the results and sees more opportunities: “With the Maersk Pelican, there are three vessels in daily commercial operation using Norsepower’s Rotor Sails. Each of these cases represents a very different vessel type and operational profile, demonstrating the widespread opportunity to harness the wind through Rotors Sails across the maritime industry.”
Norsepower believes Rotor Sails have potential to be installed on the whole tanker fleet. It cites sites a simulation study that shows the installed Rotor Sails operating in global average wind conditions of all shipping routes can cut fuel consumption and emissions by 12%. "Based on the same simulation model, Norsepower estimates that applying Rotor Sail technology to the entire global tanker fleet would reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 30 million metric tonnes, which corresponds to emissions of about 15 million passenger cars”.