Harnessing the wind

Latest trials and installations of wind-assist systems

Following a string of new wind power developments in recent months, container ship operator Ocean Network Express (ONE) has announced it will trial a wind-assisted propulsion system “as a sustainable solution for the maritime industry”.

ONE says that, following the successful completion of a factory test,  and in partnership with Dutch maritime wind-powered technology experts Econowind, it is set to install two containerised wind assist devices, known as VentoFoil containers, on the 1,036 TEU feeder container ship Kalamazoo that operates between Pusan, Yokohama, and Honolulu, and is owned by NORSE UK and operated by Goodwood Ship Management, Singapore.

The VentoFoils, which resemble aeroplane wings, are designed to harness wind energy, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Each VentoFoil is equipped with smart suction system that optimise airflow and maximise thrust and has the potential to generate up to 400kW of power, reducing fuel consumption by 5%. They are fully automatic, adjust for wind speed and direction, and can be started from the ship bridge.

“ONE is committed to minimising our environmental impact and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Hiroki Tsujii, Managing Director at ONE. “This trial with Econowind is an important step forward in our efforts to explore innovative and sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.”

The trial is a comprehensive study scheduled to run for approximately six months beginning January 2024, with ONE closely monitoring the performance of the VentoFoils. Data on fuel consumption, emissions reductions, and overall operational efficiency will be collected. The results of the trial will be used to assess the long-term viability of wind propulsion as a sustainable shipping solution.

ONE was created in July 2017 following the liner service integrations of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). The resulting entity functions from its global headquarter in Singapore, supported by regional headquarters in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil. Operating more than 210 vessels, it offers an expeditious and a reliable international network of over 170 services to 120 countries and beyond. It is the world’s sixth largest container carrier with a fleet size of approximately 1.69 million TEU and is a member of THE Alliance (THEA), a global ocean carrier consortium.

Meanwhile Bernhard Schulte says its CO2 tanker newbuilding at Dalian Shipbuilding Offshore (DSOC) will feature innovative technologies, including wind power systems, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

The company says : “The primary fuel for the ships will be LNG. Combined with other proven technologies, such as wind-assisted rotor sail and air lubrication, the ships will have around 34% lower carbon footprint compared to conventional ships running on marine fuel. It is planned for delivery in 2026.”


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