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Norsepower: Sail solutions

Finland’s Norsepower is exhibiting at this week’s SMM fair in Hamburg, a show that has long championed green shipping.

The company’s Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that harnesses the Magnus effect to generate wind power to contribute towards powering a commercial ship.

“Norsepower Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time,” explains the head of the company, Tuomas Riski.

Rotor Sails can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted to existing ships.

Riski claims his invention is the only product on the market that enables the capture of significant amounts of renewable propulsion energy while the ship is under voyage.

“Most fuel saving technologies are contingent upon lowering the resistance of the vessel, whereas the fuel savings by the Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is based on producing auxiliary thrust from the ocean’s wind – an enduring and nearly infinite source of power,” Riski explains.

The sea trials of Norsepower’s first prototype Rotor Sail were started in November 2014 on board Finnish shipowner’ Bore’s 9,700 dwt roro carrier Estraden using one Rotor Sail. Based upon the successful trial results in full commercial operation, a further Rotor Sail was installed. Bore purchased both Rotor Sails from Norsepower following a series of data showing continued and consistent fuel and emissions savings in commercial operation. The data gathered from the Estraden, analysis of the data provided by maritime software house NAPA, and class approval by Lloyd’s Register, have shown that the technology has the potential for fuel savings of up to 20% for vessels with multiple, large Rotor Sails traveling on favourable routes.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is compatible with any vessel that has installation space available on deck, and where cranes and cargo handling equipment do not prevent the installation of Rotor Sails. This includes tankers, bulk carriers, roros and ferries.

“Our experience with the MS Estraden demonstrates that there are typically no more technical obstacles that prevent the adoption of Rotor Sails. The biggest hurdle that green technology providers currently face is the low level of fuel prices. But with our ability to lower the price of the technology as we install more Rotor Sails and fuel prices expected to rise in the coming years – not least, with the expected adoption of a global ECA in 2020, we believe that in the best cases a payback period of less than two years will be achievable,” Riski tells Maritime CEO.

Riski has set a target to get 200 installations completed in the next six years.

Norsepower’s stand at SMM can be found at A5.301.

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