The Magnus effect of producing thrust by creating a pressure differential using a spinning object has been known for decades but has proved difficult to exploit in commercial shipping. Now a Finnish company is embarking on trials of its Magnus effect system on a Maersk LR2 tanker.
Two 30-m tall rotating sails have been installed on board the product tanker Maersk Pelican. It is expected that the rotors will produce a reduction in fuel cost and associated emissions on typical shipping routes of between 7 and 10%.
Norsepower of Finland, Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell Shipping & Maritime are the project partners behind installing two Norsepower Rotor Sails on board the Maersk Tankers LR2 product tanker vessel.
“This project is breaking ground in the product tanker industry. This new technology has the potential to help the industry be more cost-competitive as it moves cargoes around the world for customers and to reduce the environmental impact,” said Maersk Tankers chief technical officer Tommy Thomassen.
ETI programme manager Andrew Scott explained “We commissioned this project to provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the untapped potential of Rotor Sails. Auxiliary wind propulsion is one of the few fuel-saving technologies that is expected to offer double-digit percentage improvements.”
Norsepower chief executive Tuomas Riski added “We have great ambitions for our technology and its role in decarbonising the shipping industry.”
Shell Shipping & Maritime vice-president Grahaeme Henderson concluded “The shipping industry faces a major challenge in how it can economically ship the increasing amounts of goods and energy the world demands, whilst lowering its environmental impact.”
Norsepower’s Rotor Sail solution is being tested on a variety of vessels (see video), and one interesting side benefit, noted by one of the crew members, is the vessel is now more comfortable in a seaway following the fitment of the Rotor Sail.
Do you feel that Norsepower's Rotor Sail deserves an award? Vote now in the 2018 Tanker Shipping and Trade Awards.