Record ship size for SkySails towing kite.

By Keith Henderson at March 10, 2011 06:48
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World trader and major charterer of dry bulk freight Cargill Inc., has entered into an agreement with German based SkySails GmbH & Co. KG to use wind power technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. The system was pioneered in 2008 on the MV Beluga SkySail when a 160m2 kite was installed on the 132 m Multi Purpose Heavy Lift Carrier for a voyage from Bremen, Germany to Venezuela.

A SkySail SKS C 320 kite of a 320m2, will be installed on one of Cargill’s long term chartered handysized vessels in December this year , to become operational during early 2012. This size of vessel, between 25,000 and 30,000 dwt, will be the largest application of this technology so far.

All information related to the SkySail system’s operation is displayed on the monitor of a workstation on the ship’s bridge. The steering of the kite, which hovers between 100 and 420 m, is achieved by automatic computer control

The kite is connected to the ship by a large rope to effect the tow, and according to the manufacturers, produces a propulsive power equivalent to more than 2 MW. Based on this estimation, it could save daily, up to 10 tons of fuel, 32 tons of CO2 and reduce both SOx and NOx emissions..

According to a United Nations (International Maritime Organisation) study, up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved every year by the broad application of the SkySails’ technology on the world merchant fleet. This figure equates to 11 percent of the CO2 emissions of Germany.

MV Beluga SkySail
Photo credit : SkySails GmbH


SkySail system components
Image credit: SkySails GmbH

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