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Becker Marine Systems adds wing sails to its specialities

Written by Nick Blenkey
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FEBRUARY 1, 2019 — Hamburg headquartered Becker Marine Systems, known for its high-end rudders and products such as the Becker Mewis Duct, is adding sail power to its portfolio.

“We will see different hybrid systems on board vessels in the future,” says Managing Director Henning Kuhlmann. “There will be ships and services where sailing provides a real option for supporting propulsion.”

Becker is developing a highly efficient wing sail, which will generate significant forward thrust on commercial vessels. The operational profile of the vessel will have to be adapted, with weather routing playing an important role, but for long range operation, using wind as a “fuel” source will significantly reduce a vessel’s fuel consumption.

A key partner in this development is Stockholm based Wallenius Marine. Its latest design for a modern car carrier features four large wing sails, each more than 1,000 sq.m in area. In optimal conditions, the sails will be able to propel the vessel up to 10 knots without engine support.

Unlike most other approaches, Becker’s wing sail will consist of two vertical sections, forming an aerodynamic foil. It is a great advantage that the wing sails can be operated at a small angle towards the apparent wind, enabling the vessel to use the wing sails on most courses.

To pass under bridges, provide safe operation in port and “reef” the system in harsh conditions, Becker has developed a special lay-down device for the new technology.

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