Tønsberg, Norway, headquartered systems integration and automation specialist Høglund Marine Solutions has taken a two-thirds stake in Vindskip AS, which is developing a design for a car/truck carrier that combines wind and gas power to achieve the lowest possible emissions in its market segment.
Børge Nogva, President of Høglund, has also become chairman of the board at Vindskip AS.
With a majority share in Vindskip AS, Høglund will bring the company’s experience and expertise in providing LNG and automation solutions to the Vindskip project. Alongside the company’s co-owner, Norwegian electric propulsion provider, Stadt AS, Høglund will supply LNG fuel system, power management and automation technology.
The unique Vindskip design uses the shape of the hull to act like a sail, harnessing the wind to generate traction and provide auxiliary propulsion, while also reducing aerodynamic drag by up to 75% compared to a traditional vessel design.
A weather routing module will calculate and recommend the most appropriate route for the vessel to take to harness the full potential of available wind conditions, optimizing for fuel economy while meeting its estimated time of arrival.
As well as using wind, the vessel will also be powered by a flexible hybrid electric-LNG propulsion system, which could use bio gas (LBG) to further reduce GHG emissions. Dynamic engine management – which Høglund will be instrumental in developing and supplying — will optimize engine output to minimize excess fuel burn, according to wind conditions, and maintain constant speed.
It is estimated that the Vindskip design will emit 63% less CO2 and 96% less NOx than similar capacity car-carrying vessels currently in service. As the market for low-emission and electric road vehicles expands, the car carrying sector will need to reflect auto manufacturers increasing focus on environmental sustainability.
“With the pressure on shipping to reduce GHG emissions increasing, it is more important than ever to demonstrate how innovative we can be in meeting this critical environmental challenge,” says Nogva. “I’m delighted that Høglund’s role in the development of the Vindskip concept has increased, which will allow us to collaborate and bring our expertise to this unique and innovative project. Wind-assisted propulsion has great potential – but it needs careful integration of hardware and software to realize.”
“It’s great to have Høglund’s support for the Vindskip project,” says Terje Lade, Manager of Vindskip AS. “As an industry, we need to start turning emissions-reducing ideas into reality, and effective collaboration will be critical. I’m thrilled that Høglund is bringing their expertise to the project, which is setting a precedent of environmentally sound vessel design in the car-carrying sector and beyond.
“The Vindskip design concept represents one of the boldest steps in vessel design in a generation as well as a significant engineering challenge,” says Hallvard Slettevoll, CEO of Stadt AS. “By successful development of the project through collaboration, we will help the car-carrying sector lead the way in reflecting the efforts other industries are making in building low-emissions designs for a greener future by using Stadt Lean Propulsion solution as a vital part of the Vindskip propulsion arrangement