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As fuel prices continue to put a relentless burden on shipowners, the age of sail may be returning.
A joint industry project launched in 2009 by the University of Tokyo and supported by NYK, MOL, K-Line, Oshima Shipbuilding, Tadano and ClassNK is looking to develop a next generation sailing vessel that will have a 50 percent lower rate of fuel consumption as compared to a conventional motor vessel of the same speed and deadweight.
Called “Wind Challenger,” this post-Panamax bulk carrier will have large, computer-controlled retractable fiberglass or aluminum alloy wings. The following video shows the sails undergoing land-based testing.
Depending on the different apparent wind angles (which is the combination of the true wind and the apparent wind generated from the forward velocity of the vessel, different flow is created over the foils resulting in a push vector at AWA of 150 degrees or greater, or a pulling force generated when there is laminar flow over the foils at more narrow wind angles.
The following graphics are via the University of Tokyo
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