sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Merchant ships and superyachts - the age of sail?

Merchant ships and superyachts - the age of sail?

'Skysail and merchant vessel'   
The age of sail could be staging something of a comeback as part of an attempt to cut greenhouse gases on the high seas. German engineers have devised a way of tugging merchant vessels and superyachts along with huge, computer-steered kites, known as SkySails that catch the ocean winds.

Today the first new cargo ship to harness wind power in well over a century will be launched in Hamburg, with the maiden journey taking the 10,000-tonne MS Beluga Skysails across the Atlantic to Houston.

If the Beluga performs well on wind power and if the high-flying kites dramatically cut its fuel consumption, then the age of sail will be back.

'It marks the beginning of a revolution in the way that ships are powered,' said Stephan Wrage, the inventor of the SkySails idea. 'We calculate that the sails can reduce fuel consumption by between 30 and 50 per cent, depending on the wind conditions.

'The system could be applied to about 60,000 vessels out of the 100,000 or so listed in the Lloyd’s register. Bulk carriers, tankers — they could all benefit from the flying sails.'

If he realises his dream of re-equipping the world fleet, Mr Wrage calculates that his sails could save 142 million tonnes of CO2 a year, equivalent to about 15 per cent of Germany’s total emissions.

The problem is huge. Merchant ships, which carry 90 per cent of the world’s merchandise, produce more sulphur dioxide than all the cars and lorries on the planet. And, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation, they also generate about 27 per cent of the world’s nitrogen oxide emissions.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, the Norwegian fleet management company, has designed a green flagship, the Orcelle, which will use rigid, rotating sails to capture the strongest winds.

When the wind drops the sails can be used as solar panels. But the company admits that it could take 15 years before the ship is developed.

This is how it should work -    
Mr Wrage believes he has solved the problem of reducing engine power while maintaining speed. 'As soon as the winds are strong, the captain can throttle back using our system,' he said. 'Maybe he won’t cut the engine entirely, but he can rely on the sails.'

In the great 19th-century battle of the seas between sail and steam, steamboats usually had masts and auxiliary sails to give them some extra speed. But by the 20th century, the power of wind was being dismissed as an anachronism, primitive and unpredictable.

'That was because sails were fixed to on-deck masts and were vulnerable to the whims of the winds on the surface of the sea, sometimes dipping, sometimes picking up,' says Mr Wrage. 'The strength of the SkySail is that it operates at a height where the winds are strongest and most stable.'

The sails, made of an ultralight synthetic fibre, are shot up as much as 300m (984ft) into the sky. A computer console on the bridge feeds in data on wind strength and direction. A track running around the ship allows the kites to move and scoop up the wind from virtually every direction.

'The sails are environmentally friendly and can save me a load of money,' says Niels Stolberg, owner of the Beluga line who might — if the maiden voyage goes well — end up buying the system for his entire fleet of 47 vessels.

Mr Wrage calculates that most ship owners should be able to recoup their £290,000 investment in the kite sails within three years.

But for some the idea is about more than saving cash, and the planet. It is about the adventure and beauty of sails. 'If you learned to sail at the age of eight, like me, sailing enters your bones,' said Mr Stolberg. 'And you get a feel for the wind, its power.'

Skysail 1 -    




by Roger Boyes

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=39949

10:23 AM Sat 15 Dec 2007 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Yachting News

Related News Stories:

05 Jan 2013  The yacht club with no water.
11 Jun 2012  Yacht Club of Monaco-'New clubhouse new horizons,' says Prince Albert
11 Apr 2012  Yacht Club celebrates fifty years
25 Jan 2012  European Yachts of the Year: Beneteau, Oyster, Pogo and Esse
28 Jun 2011  What, actually, is a superyacht? Australia ponders
04 Jun 2009  OBE for Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park
03 Jun 2009  Leaders of world’s premier yacht clubs 'in the same boat'
01 Jun 2009  UK boat builders feel the stress
30 May 2009  Sailing Clubs named as Olympic Pre-Games Training Camp venues
29 May 2009  Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to visit WPNSA
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI














Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay








Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT