Renewed interest in wind

2019, March 1: Interest in wind propulsion technology in feverish efforts currently to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions is on the increase. Interest is being driven by regulatory action by local, regional and multilateral groups and organizations; higher prices for carbon fuel; and, a growing consciousness and awareness about the effects of emissions on climate change.

ms Viking Grace with rotor sail

That same interest is being pulled by technological advances, one of which resurrects an almost century-old engineering design – the rotor sail.

Anton Flettner’s rotor, a smooth cylinder mounted on the deck of a ship and by rotation and the resulting Magnus effect, greatly assists propulsion, is attracting new interest thanks to the engineers at Finland’s Norsepower.

The 880-cabin/ 2,800 passenger cruise ship and ferry, the M/S Viking Grace, now has a rotor sail installed, extending upwards like a giant white tube standing on end. Eight rotor sails have been installed in the past year and more are on order, stated Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the International Windship Association, based in London, England.

Wind propulsion is a credible, viable and increasingly profitable option and the industry is taking notice, he stated. []