A newbuild large bulk carrier will be outfitted with the newest version of the rotor sail technology as part of the effort to reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and operating costs. The order is unique as it will be the first newbuild installation for the Finnish designer of the technology, Norsepower Oy, as well as the largest installation of its kind and the first aboard a large bulk carrier.

The order calls for a record five of Norsepower’s tilting rotor sails to be fitted on the unidentified vessel. Norsepower says that preparations are currently taking place with the installation scheduled for 2021. The owner of the vessel preferred to remain anonymous at this time.

Unveiled in June 2020, the tilting rotor sails are a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship. This latest design adaptation increases the flexibility of the design and permits the rotors to be lowered to improve clearance. The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology that is fully automated. It detects when the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the rotors start automatically. 

 “We are thrilled to be installing five tilting Rotor Sails on board not only the first Norsepower newbuild order but also the first bulk carrier. Installing the Rotor Sails on the first bulk carrier demonstrates that our technology is adaptable for both retrofits and newbuild vessels, and across varied operational profiles and vessel types,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower. “The Rotor Sails can improve a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and future-proof vessels against impending IMO GHG regulations. There is incredible value in using wind propulsion, particularly as it is a solution available now with proven results. We look forward to seeing the Rotor Sails in action next year.”

This will be the sixth installation of the Norsepower Rotor Sails. The company notes that it can be installed on new vessels, such as this first bulk carrier order, or retrofitted on existing ships such as its previously announced agreement with SEA-CARGO to install two 35 meter tall Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard the SC Connector, a sidedoor ro-ro operating in the North Sea. The retrofit onto the SEA-CARGO ro-ro is also the first installation of the tilting rotors. 

The company says that studies demonstrate the technology’s ability to cut emissions on any vessel type, and with any fuel. Harnessing wind to generate thrust and reduce both fuel consumption and emissions has been demonstrated to produce a savings of 5 – 25 percent, depending on the wind conditions and vessel route.

Source: Maritime executive