Project aims to ease path to wind-assisted ship propulsion

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JIP participant Dykstra Naval Architects has developed the WASP, a concept design for a sail assisted multipurpose dry cargo ship

ABS and Netherlands based research institute MARIN have launched a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to investigate transparent and validated methods to assess the performance of wind-assisted shipping propulsion technologies.

The JIP covers the majority of all marketed wind-assisted ship propulsion systems. It aims to overcome barriers to the uptake of these technologies by:

  • Improving methods for transparent performance prediction
  • Using the improved methods to provide ship owners/operators with fast predictions for their fleet
  • Reviewing the regulatory environment to identify gaps and make recommendations and provide examples on establishing compliance.

“This project has significant potential to reduce barriers to the adoption of sustainable wind propulsion technologies and make a positive contribution to achieving IMO 2030 and 2050 objectives,” said Gurinder Singh, ABS Global Sustainability Director. “Through the ABS Global Sustainability Center, ABS is supporting leading-edge maritime sustainability initiatives all over the world. This JIP with MARIN is just the latest example of how we can help the industry transition to a low carbon economy.”

Wind-assisted propulsion technologies decrease the fuel consumption of a merchant vessel through the use of sails or some other device converting the kinetic energy of the wind into thrust.

“A major barrier to use of wind energy on board is the shortage of transparent and independently verified methods to predict the performance of wind propulsors,” said Patrick Hooijmans, MARIN Senior Project Manager Ships. “A reliable model will assist in adoption, as the profitability of an investment is in a subjective realm of wide-spread opinions. Furthermore, the industry can use examples and custom work to demonstrate compliance with statutory and class rules and regulations. MARIN and ABS are committed to exploring ways of overcoming these barriers.”

Other partners in the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion project include:

  • China Ship Scientific Research Center
  • Vale SA
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Dykstra Naval Architects
  • Eco Flettner
  • Norsepower
  • Berge Bulk
  • Computed Wing Sail
  • Anemoi
  • FinOcean Ltd.

The JIP, which remains open for interested parties to join, will be completed in two years. The results will remain confidential among the project participants for a further three years after completion

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