Finnish operator Viking Line has completed a three-year test of a Norsepower rotor sail on its cruise ferry, Viking Grace
Viking Grace was the first vessel to be equipped with the technology which produces thrust based on the Magnus-effect, and reduces the propeller power requirement.
The rotor sail will now be removed, but the operator said the company’s ferry Viking Glory, which will launch this year, has been built to accept a possible rotor sail installation.
Viking Line senior vice president corporate communications Johanna Boijer-Svahnström said, “Rotor sail technology is a promising and ambitious step towards more environmentally friendly shipping. It is important to develop such solutions, and we definitely want to be involved in seeking ways to improve the environmental sustainability of shipping in the Baltic Sea. Flettner rotor technology is very interesting, and our co-operation with Norsepower has been valuable.”
Norsepower chief executive Tuomas Riski said, “The independently validated test results from Viking Grace have led to numerous new rotor sail deliveries, and our business today is growing fast.”
In addition to Viking Grace, Norsepower’s rotor sails have been installed Scandlines ferry Copenhagen operating between Germany and Denmark and tanker Maersk Pelican.
The system has fully automated control, sensing when wind conditions are favourable and operates the rotor sails with no action required by the crew. The manufacturer claims rotor sails optimised for newbuild ships can provide fuel savings in excess of 20%.
The rotor sail trial was part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. In Viking Grace’s first year of operation, three independent parties – ABB, Chalmers University and NAPA – conducted research to confirm the long-term fuel saving potential of the rotor sail. Results revealed reduced power consumption between 207-315 kW equalling 231-315 tonnes of fuel every year.
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