Illustration shows a ship equipped with Delta Sail. Image courtesy MOL

MOL Exploring Triangular Sails Attached to Ships’ Cranes to Boost Propulsion

Mike Schuler
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July 27, 2021

Japanese shipping group Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has partnered with others to research and develop triangular sails that can be mounted on ships’ cargo cranes and other equipment to boost propulsion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The joint research program brings together MOL, it’s dry bulk subsidiary MOL Drybulk, Oshima Shipbuilding and Iknow Machinery Co.

Unlike other wind propulsion technology, the Delta Sail can be mounted to existing equipment and unfurls much like traditional sails.

MOL notes that many of its vessels are already equipped with cargo handing cranes to which the sails can be attached, but the company plans to study the installation of sails on a broad range of ship types such as bulkers, wood chip carriers, and multi-purpose vessels.

The R&D project is just one of the initiatives that MOL group is working on to achieve its environmental targets, including achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Other initiatives its undertaking include the Wind Challenger Project, which uses a type of telescoping hard sail, and the Wind Hunter Project, combining wind propulsion sailing technology and wind energy converted to generate a stable supply of hydrogen.

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