LR, Anemoi & SDARI to develop vessel designs featuring rotor sails

virtual signing ceremony
Virtual signing ceremony; Image by Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has signed a joint development project with the Flettner Rotor developer Anemoi and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a series of energy-efficient vessel designs equipped with rotor sails.

Rotor sails, also referred to as ‘Flettner rotors’, are comprised of vertical cylinders which, when driven to rotate, harness the renewable power of the wind to propel ships.

These highly efficient mechanical sails capitalise on the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect to provide additional thrust to vessels and deliver fuel and emission savings.

The project will address enable the collaboration between the original equipment manufacturer, designer, regulator and shipowner to agree a pathway for the commercial success of installed technology onboard vessels.

Along with the installation of rotor sails, the vessels could also incorporate new hull forms, new energy management systems, a new powering arrangement and modified operational requirements, LR said.

Proposed ship types include 85,000 and 210,000 DWT bulk carriers, a 325,000 DWT very large ore carrier (VLOC), a 114,000 DWT aframax tanker, a 50,000 DWT MR tanker and a very large crude carrier (VLCC).

LR will review the designs in accordance with the latest regulatory requirements and will ensure it meets LR’s Rules to issue an Approval in Principle (AiP).

The parties believe that by opening the project to shipowners, the parties can ensure that the technology fits the market needs and can provide better decision support for the installation of this technology across the range of common ship types.

“This partnership will help owners and charterers select rotor sail technology to future-proof their vessels in line with regulatory, environmental and commercial drivers. The AiP approved rotor sail vessel designs will give owners confidence when evaluating the technology for either wind ready or full installations,” Nick Contopoulos, Anemoi Chief Operating Officer, commented.

“This development, coupled with our collaboration with Wartsila will facilitate volume production and technology roll out at scale.”

To remind, last month the technology group Wärtsilä revealed that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anemoi Marine Technologies for the future sales and servicing of rotor sail solutions to the shipping industry.

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“Under the ambitious IMO 2030 and 2050 targets for marine decarbonisation, as a ship designer, we are very interested in any positive research to improve ship efficiency. This JDP will give us an opportunity to cooperate with the innovation supplier and class,” Wang Gang Yi, Chief Engineer, SDARI, said.

According to the International Windship Association (IWSA), retrofit wind-assist solutions can deliver 5-20% of the power requirement, and thus the savings in fuel, with the potential to reach 30%. An optimised newbuild vessel has an even greater potential for savings, because wind can be used as the primary source of propulsion.