The ship, dubbed the Vindship, uses the hull as a wing-like sail that would drive the ship at sea. In low-wind passages it would be equipped with a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered engine.
Lade estimates that fuel consumption would be only 60% of a similarly sized freighter using conventional propulsion.
Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 80 percent, according to calculations by the Norwegian company.
Lade has already tested the ship’s hull design in wind tunnels and says the freighter could be ready to set sail as soon as 2019. First, the ship model has to pass numerous tests in a marine research model tank – also called a towing tank.
Not only would the ship be good for the environment it would improve profitability of shipping lines, Lade says:
International shipping is transporting 90 percent of all goods on earth. Running on heavy fuel oil freighters contribute to pollution. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) wants to reduce the environmental impact of ocean liners. One of the measures: Starting from 2020, ships will only be allowed to use fuel containing maximum 0.1 percent sulfur in their fuel in certain areas. However, the higher-quality fuel with less sulfur is more expensive than the heavy fuel oil which is currently used. Shipping companies are thus facing a major challenge in reducing their fuel costs while complying with the emission guidelines.
Originally published by Cosmos as Wind-powered freighter design could revolutionise international shipping
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.