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Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

News International-French

18 May 2020

Norsepower, Comaxel and Gurit have won the JEC Innovation Award in the “Maritime Transportation & Shipbuilding” category. This innovation helps freight and passenger vessels to reduce fuel costs by 5-20 %, enhancing the propulsion system of a vessel by using wind as an auxiliary propulsion measure.

Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

The added value offered by this innovation include operating cost reduction through substantial fuel savings, image benefits, easier access to financing from an increasing number of environmentally sensitive institutions and an overall competitive advantage. The ability to harness the wind as an additional power source to enable a reduction of fuel consumption is a natural next step for the maritime transport industry as it seeks to remain cost-efficient and meet environmental regulations.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution uses advanced composite materials and a leading-edge control system to reduce cargo and passenger vessel fuel consumption. When the wind conditions are favourable, Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions. Rotor sails can be built onto new vessels or retrofitted to existing ships.

Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

Successful pilot phase
Norsepower has succeeded in building working prototypes of its auxiliary wind propulsion technology and demonstrates its performance with three different ship types: Ro-Ro, Tanker and Ferry. Since 2014 the Rotor Sails have been installed on the cargo vessel “Estraden” owned by the Finnish shipping company Bore Oy. The usability of the technology has been good with an availability of ‘more than 99%’. Further Rotor Sails have been installed on vessels of Maersk and Viking Line. Externally verified results confirmed that the fuel savings and emission reduction potential of Norsepower Rotor Sails is typically 5-20%. Due to the proven track record Norsepower’s order backlog and sales pipeline are now growing at a fast rate.

Advanced composites
During the R&D phase different material options for the rotating part of the Rotor Sail were investigated thoroughly. Advanced composite materials have been chosen for the rotor due to their outstanding properties regarding mass, dynamics behaviour, loads, fatigue resistance, cost, modifiability and dimensional accuracy.

Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

The structural core material being used is Gurit ‘Kerdyn Green’ which is based on up to 100% recycled PET. The smart design of the core paired with high-strength epoxy infusion resin, Gurit’s PRIME 27 and carbon/E-glass-fibres form the basis of the rotor structure. High Strength adhesive Gurit Spabond 340LV and new Gurit Ampreg 30 resin for secondary bonding make the structure durable for many decades of service. The final finish for best rotational tolerance and smooth windward surfaces is achieved using Gurit’s S/-Fair fairing solution.

Gurit’s complete composite solution enables superior lightweight vessel designs, combining a range of different materials and composite engineering services in order to reach the best level of properties in terms of structural performance, durability, quality and cost for the purpose of a specific boat.

Innovation for sustainability: reducing maritime pollution
The awarded Norsepower Rotor Sail technology represents constant use of renewable energy and highlights the importance of energy efficiency thus supporting the strategy against climate change. The innovative Rotor Sails wind propulsion technology comply with key duties of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to encourage strategies and measures to keep the waterways clean by preventing marine pollution from ships.

Rotor sails reducing the environmental impact of shipping

Watch the replay of the online ceremony