Scandlines to add rotor sail to hybrid ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Battery hybrid ferry will be retrofitted with 30 meter high, 5 meter diameter rotor sail

Hamburg, Germany, headquartered ferry operator Scandlines has signed an agreement with Finnish rotor sail pioneer Norsepower Oy Ltd, to install Norsepower’s rotor sail solution on board the M/V Copenhagen, a hybrid passenger ferry.

Operating between Rostock in Germany and Gedser in Denmark, the M/V Copenhagen belongs to the world’s largest fleet of hybrid ferries, which combine diesel and battery power.

Since 2013, Scandlines has invested more than EUR 300 million (about $330 million) in building and retrofitting ferries from conventional diesel drives to hybrid ferries.

With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions.

The Norsepower rotor sail solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship.

It is the first data-verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. When wind conditions are favorable, it enables the electric propulsion thrusters and center propel to be throttled back, reducing emissions – while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Because it generates supplementary thrust from wind, the solution is compatible with all other emissions-saving technologies.

The route between Gedser to the north and Rostock to the south is almost perpendicular to the prevailing wind from west giving Scandlines favorable conditions for using rotor sails on the ferry crossing.

Preparations for the retrofit will take place in November 2019 with the installation scheduled for second quarter 2020. M/V Copenhagen is to be retrofitted with a large Norsepower rotor sail unit that is 30 m in height and 5 m in diameter.

“By installing a rotor sail, we can reduce CO2 emissions on the Rostock-Gedser route by four to five percent,” says Scandlines CEO Søren Poulsgaard Jensen.

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