KR has awarded design approval for Hyundai Heavy Industrys Hi-Rotor. ©KR

Going with the wind

New design of rotor sail to provide wind-assisted propulsion

Korean Register (KR) has awarded design approval for Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI)’s latest rotor sail technology, Hi-Rotor.

December 22, 2022

According to HHI, the wind-assisted propulsion system can reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 6 to 8%.


The approval follows a close partnership between KR and HHI. Back in December 2020, KR approved an Approval in Principle for Hi-Rotor as a first step to actively developing the technology. This May, both companies collaborated in hosting a Hazard Identification (HAZID) workshop, to further enhance the safety of the system.


HHI is planning to complete the production in the second half of this year, and is concentrating on preparing for a feasibility test, as well as discussing the future commercialization of the system with major ship owners.


Rotor sails are cylindrical structures installed on ships’ decks that reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by generating additional propulsion using wind. HHI’s Hi-Rotor uses the ‘Magnus Effect’, using the pressure differences around the rotor sail to generate propulsion.

HHI says its rotor sail differs significantly from other systems already developed as it has a direct drive system. This is achieved through reduction gears connecting the rotor to the electric motor. 


Yeon-tae Kim, Executive Vice President of KR Technical Division, said: “We hope that this design approval will enhance HHI’s competitiveness in the rotor sail technology market, and we will continue to enhance our compliance with stringent environmental regulations.”


Won-ho Joo, HHI Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer said: “We are continuously contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of our customers by concentrating our capabilities on the development of various eco-friendly products to not only improve the fuel efficiency of ships but also to respond to stringent environmental regulations.”

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