Japanese trio joins forces on development of rigid sails

Japanese companies Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding, and Akishima Laboratories have joined forces on rigid sails as a new device for energy saving.

Tsuneishi Shipbuilding

As informed, the rigid sail is an auxiliary propulsion device that generates propulsive force and saves energy using wind as natural energy.

According to Tsuneishi, the device can be installed on existing vessels with minimal modification. The companies are now working on commercializing the technology. They will work on the shape, arrangement, and control system of the rigid sail.

Specifically, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding will coordinate the entire development project and design and manufacture the equipment.

Meanwhile, Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding will study the control system and sail shape, and Akishima Laboratories will carry out performance evaluation using fluid analysis (CFD analysis) and other methods on the developed rigid sail.

The plan is to install the device on an actual vessel in 2026 and commercialize it in 2027. The project is part of Tsuneishi’s effort to further contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction through innovative technology.

To remind, last month, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, together with NYK Line and other partners, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the ‘world’s first’ biomass-fueled ship (bioship) and the technology that could power it.

Under the MoU, the partners will initially conduct research to develop the new shipping technology, an onboard biomass fuel plant, which would be required to power a bioship.

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Last year, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding, together with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), received approval in principle for an ammonia-fueled liquified gas carrier design. The vessel is a mid-size ammonia/LPG carrier equipped with a main engine that can run on ammonia, which emits no CO2 during combustion, according to the partners.

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