Wind propulsion interest set to rocket from European Space Agency investment

Shipowners will soon be able to see for themselves how much money they could be saving by deploying wind propulsion thanks to funding from the European Space Agency.

Smart Green Shipping Alliance (SGSA) has been accepted into the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK). Part of the business support package awarded to SGSA by the ESA includes a grant to develop a prototype digital tool that will enable the accurate quantification of available wind for any ship, on any route.

The digital evaluation software system will provide projected annual fuel savings accrued by retrofitting any ship with SGSA’s FastRig wingsail technology or by integrating the technology in to a newbuild ship design. The digital tool will allow users to quantify potential fuel savings for any ship, sailing specified routes at different speeds.

Therefore, when commercially available, the software system will give shipowners and operators a verification platform with the data required to analyse the commercial benefit of installing SGSA’s FastRig wingsail technology.

The prototype of the new tool will be finalised by February next year, after which time it will be deployed for market testing by project partners.

Diane Gilpin, CEO andfounder of SGSA commented in a release: “This new digital tool is being designed to be the digital enabler to accelerate the much-needed uptake of wind ships.”

Speaking with Splash today, Gilpin said: “Being able to clearly visualise and verify savings gives the market confidence. It’s the first step towards fully autonomous 100% renewable propulsion systems. 21st century wind power aided by rocket science.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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