Cargo ships of the future could be powered by wind energy

Cargo ships are responsible for a good part of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, in the future they will be able to reduce them by recovering a very old idea: the power of the wind.

The freighters of the future could again be powered by wind energy if a pioneering project, which puts ultra-modern sails on large vessels, proves to reduce carbon emissions.

Scientists at the University of Southampton are creating new computer tools that can accurately predict the behavior of modern ships in the ocean when fitted with FastRig wingsails, developed by the British company Smart Green Shipping. Instead of traditional cloth sails, these rigid sails resemble airplane wings perched vertically above the deck.

Of course, wind-powered ships are nothing new, but almost all of today’s large ships run on fossil fuels, leaving a large carbon footprint on the environment. While new wind assist technologies are being developed, many are not ready for the market and their fuel economy predictions have not been independently verified at sea.

As part of a two-year development programme, scientists from Southampton and Smart Green Shipping will test a 20 meter high FastRig retractable sail fitted to the 105 meter British commercial vessel Pacific Grebe.

It is an innovative project because the technology can be adapted to pre-existing ships. The analysis tools will study the complex interactions between the wingsails and the ship’s hydrodynamics, allowing for highly accurate predictions of ship performance, specifically fuel economy.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here