Finnish technology firm Norsepower has completed testing of one of its “Rotor Sails” onboard the Viking Grace.
Installed in 2018, the MS Viking Grace was the first passenger vessel to be fitted with the technology as a means of reducing vessel’s environmental impact by harnessing the power of the wind.
Norsepower’s Rotor Sail solution is the first third-party verified and fully commercialized mechanical sail. It is a modernized version of a Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship.
The testing period for the Viking Grace was completed in April and the results have been independently validated by ABB, Chalmers University, and NAPA, in addition to Norsepower’s own analysis. The results confirmed that the Rotor Sail reduces power consumption between 207-315 kW equalling 231-315 tons of fuel per year, which was well in-line with original target of the project, according to Norsepower.
“Rotor Sail technology is a promising and ambitious step towards more environmentally friendly shipping. It is important to develop such solutions, and we definitely want to be involved in seeking ways to improve the environmental sustainability of shipping in the Baltic Sea. Flettner rotor technology is very Interesting, and our cooperation with Norsepower has been valuable,” said Viking Line’s Senior VP Corporate Communications Johanna Boijer-Svahnström.
The testing has also confirmed that propulsion power saving potential varied by route, with the biggest benefit coming from open sea voyages where vessel speeds are higher and wind conditions are better compared more sheltered archipelago voyages.
In addition to Viking Grace, Norsepower’s Rotor Sails have been installed on four ships, including Scandlines ferry M/V Copenhagen operating between Germany and Denmark and the tanker Maersk Pelican.
“The independently validated test results from Viking Grace have led to numerous new Rotor Sail deliveries, and our business today is growing fast. Rotor Sails optimized for new build ships can provide in excess of 20% fuel savings. Norsepower’s Rotor Sail technology is available now, enabling an immediate and significant reduction of shipping’s emissions,” says Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower.
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