Press Release: Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, and SEA-CARGO, leading logistics provider in the North Sea market, today announced an agreement to install two of Norsepower’s largest Rotor Sails onboard the SC Connector, a side door Ro-Ro. The agreement also heralds the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, showcasing the innovative design adaptations that can be made for individual vessel requirements.
The SC Connector, a 12,251 gross tonne (GT) Ro-Ro cargo vessel operates in the North Sea, which allows for some of the most favourable wind conditions for Rotor Sails. The routes involve navigating under multiple bridges and powerlines which require the Rotor Sails to have a tilting function. Working in tandem, Norsepower and SEA-CARGO combined their expertise to develop the 35m high and 5m wide Rotor Sails to enable them to tilt to almost horizontal when required.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution – which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships – is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship. Preparations for the retrofit on the SC Connector are currently taking place with the installation scheduled for Q4 2020.
With growing international and public pressure on the maritime industry to move towards decarbonisation, the ability to harness the wind to generate thrust, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, is a natural next step for the maritime transport industry. Norsepower has analysed the routes for the SC Connector and estimates that its technology would be able to achieve a carbon emissions reduction of 25% for this vessel.
Commenting on the agreement, Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said: “We are delighted to be working with SEA-CARGO, not only as they are keen to demonstrate their commitment to maximising the propulsive power of wind to reduce emissions, but also for their cooperation and innovation in making tilting Rotor Sails a realisation. Rotor Sails are particularly well suited to Ro-Ro vessels and working with SEA-CARGO to deliver a tilting Rotor Sail ensures we are providing an adaptable solution which fits with particular vessel requirements, specifically demonstrating vessels with height restrictions to benefit from the Rotor Sail solution.”
Ole Sævild, Managing Director, SEA-CARGO, added: “With a growing international focus on reducing CO2 emissions and other gases/particles – the ability to harness wind to generate energy, reduce fuel consumption and emissions is a natural next step for the maritime transport industry. The goal of this project has been to design more environmentally friendly vessels by combining several existing technologies. In good wind conditions, the sailing hybrid vessel will maintain regular service speed by sail alone.”
The Norsepower Rotor Sail is the first third-party verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the Rotor Sails start automatically.
Watch an animation of this project to see the tilting function in action here.
Header photo: Illustration of the two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard the SEA-CARGO vessel.