Norsepower to install 5 tilting rotor sails on a bulker newbuild

Finnish auxiliary wind propulsion systems’ provider Norsepower Oy Ltd. has won its first newbuild order for the installation of a record five tilting Rotor Sails on board a large bulk carrier. 

The agreement heralds the first installation of Norsepower’s innovative Rotor Sails on a bulk carrier. The owner of the newbuild prefers to stay anonymous at this point in time, according to Norsepower.

The company said the deal demonstrates the adaptability of the technology to reduce fuel consumption, fuel costs and reduce emissions across a variety of vessel types.

Image by: Norsepower

Preparations are currently taking place with the installation onboard scheduled for 2021.

The announcement follows shortly after an agreement between Ro-Ro operator SEA-CARGO and Norsepower for the first installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, showcasing the adaptations that can be made for individual vessel requirements.

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An animation of this project and the tilting function can be seen in the video below:

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Harnessing wind to generate thrust and reduce both fuel consumption and emissions has been demonstrated as a viable option, with achievable savings of 5 – 20%, depending on the wind conditions and vessel route. Recent case studies demonstrate savings of up to 25%, according to the cleantech company.

A recent trial project, involving Maersk Tankers, showed that the installation of two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard the product tanker Maersk Pelican reduced the ship’s fuel consumption by 8.2%.

The Rotor Sails were installed onboard the tanker in August 2018 and the 8.2% in savings were recorded from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2019.

The Finnish developer of the technology explained that this was equivalent to approximately 1,400 tonnes of CO2. The savings were confirmed by comparing detailed performance information to a baseline established with full scale measurements and computational analysis done for the vessel prior the Rotor Sail installation.

“We are thrilled to be installing five tilting Rotor Sails onboard not only the first Norsepower newbuild order, but also the first bulk carrier. Installing the Rotor Sails on the first bulk carrier demonstrates that our technology is adaptable for both retrofits and newbuild vessels, and across varied operational profiles and vessel types,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said.

“The Rotor Sails can improve a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and future-proof vessels against impending IMO GHG regulations. There is incredible value in using wind propulsion, particularly as it is a solution available now with proven results. We look forward to seeing the Rotor Sails in action next year.”

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship. 

The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the Rotor Sails start automatically.

This will be the sixth installation of the Norsepower Rotor Sails and the first on a bulk carrier.