A rotor sail supplied by Finnish clean technology and wind propulsion provider Norsepower has been installed on MV Copenhagen, a hybrid ferry operated by Scandilines on the Rostock-Gedser route between Germany and Denmark
The installation was completed in late May and the vessel has undergone a few months of daily operations since the installation of the wind-assisted system.
The 21-tonne steel foundation for the 42-tonne, 30-m rotor sail was put in place during an overnight yard stay in Rostock in November 2019.
Norsepower chief executive Tuomas Riski said “The ability to harness the wind through Norsepower’s rotor sail alongside hydrodynamic hull optimisation and hybrid electric propulsion system with battery powered energy storage makes MV Copenhagen one of the world’s most energy-efficient ferries.”
The installation was undertaken as part of the EU-funded Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project that launched in late 2019 with the aim to install five wind assisted propulsion units on to a series of different vessels operating in the North Sea and Baltic Sea to test, validate and help facilitate the uptake off wind-assisted propulsion technologies.
Another part of the WASP project is monitoring and validating the equipment and its performance.
Scandlines chief operating officer Michael Guldmann Petersen said “We are expecting a 4-5% reduction in CO2 emissions which is not an insignificant amount, and if everything goes well, we are considering further installations in the future.” In optimal wind conditions, the CO2 savings are expected to be even higher, the company said.
Mr Petersen added “We are very happy that the system is fully automated and we are expecting little in the way of technical problems; the last month of operations has been quite smooth and we see that continuing throughout the test period.”
The Norsepower rotor sail is the first data-verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry.
The technology is based on the Magnus effect: When the wind meets the spinning cylinder, the airflow accelerates on one side of the cylinder and decelerates on the opposite side of the cylinder. The change in the speed of airflow results in a pressure difference, which creates a lift force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction. The longitudinal component of this force helps to push the ship through the water.
Optimum effect is achieved in windy conditions when the wind blows from the side. Scandilines said that the Rostock-Gedser route is almost perpendicular to the prevailing wind from the west giving the vessel favourable conditions for using rotor sails on the crossing.
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