Vindskip is a concept designed, by Norwegian firm Lade AS, for harnessing wind energy to propel cargo vessels. The designed ship, Vindskip, uses a hull that acts as a sail.
According to its manufacturer, Lade AS, the designed ship reduces fuel consumption up to 60% while reducing greenhouse emission up to 80%.
It uses liquefied natural gas-powered generator for the remainder of its energy and get it moving from standstill.
Germany’s Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services has developed its software. This software will help choose best possible route in accordance with the wind direction. Cruise Control will balance the LNG-electric propulsion system with the Wind Power System - keeping a constant speed of the ship.
The development in wind-powered shipping is important as today 95 % of goods are carried through ships, furthermore, according to the guardian, one giant container ship can emit as much cancer and asthma causing chemicals as 50 million cars. Therefore, small reduction in emission by shipping industry can have great impact on the global greenhouse emission.
|today 95 % of goods are carried through ships|
For reducing greenhouse emission ships should be more fuel efficient, as reduced fuel consumption means reduced greenhouse emission.
Along with using renewable energy sources another way of reducing fuel consumption is slow steaming.
Marine engine manufacturer Wärtsilä estimates that fuel consumption can be reduced by 59% by reducing cargo ship speed from 27 knots to 18 knots, at the cost of an additional week's sailing time on Asia-Europe routes.
Fall in bunker prices may prove to be barrier in opting for slow steaming and going for renewable energy sources. Therefore UN's International Maritime Organization and the EU should intervene to tighten laws governing ship emissions and fuel efficiency.