Sailing on Sustainability: The Comeback of Wind Power?

As the shipping industry ramps up efforts to decarbonise, initial sea trials onboard a Maersk tanker fitted with Norsepower Rotor Sails indicate that wind power has the potential to play a significant role in a low carbon ocean transport system.

Early results from a sea trial onboard the 109,647 DWT Maersk Pelican fitted with two metre high, five metre diameter Rotor Sails by Finnish sail technology provider Norsepower have proven an 8.2 per cent reduction in fuel consumption is possible over a 12 month period. The Norsepower Rotor Sails are large, cylindrical mechanical sails that operate based on the Magnus effect. Wind hits the spinning Rotor Sails, causing air to accelerate on one side of the Rotor Sail and decelerate on the other. The difference in the speed of air flow results in a direct pressure difference, creating a lifting force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction. This generates a forward thrust, propelling the vessel…