World’s only Rotor Sail passenger ship goes into service

Posted: April 15, 2018 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel, wind

The original technology was demonstrated in an Atlantic crossing that took place in 1926, but Norsepower says it has created various new improvements for which several patents have been granted.

Last year (reports New Atlas) we detailed how Norsepower had rediscovered an engineering innovation, which sees large cylinders installed atop big ships to harness wind for propulsion.

Now a passenger ship has been treated to the Rotor Sail Solution and has set sail on wind-assisted trips between Finland and Sweden.

The M/S Viking Grace – which has 880 cabins and can accommodate 2,800 passengers and around 500 cars – went into service in 2013, when it was reported to be the first ship of its size to be fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Its hull was hydrodynamically-optimized for low fuel consumption and soundproofing technology was fitted to keep noise down. So it already boasted some noteworthy green credentials.

A single Rotor Sail cylinder measuring 24 meters (78 ft) tall and 4 meters (13 ft) in diameter has now been installed on the passenger vessel, which is described as a modern version of the Flettner rotor.

The technology makes use of the Magnus effect, where wind passing a spinning cylinder moves the air faster on one side than the other and results in thrust at 90 degrees to the wind direction.

Image credit: Norsepower

The Norsepower system uses sensors to determine when the wind is strong enough to result in fuel savings, then the rotors automatically kick in and the sea wind helps the Viking Line’s flagship vessel to move along.

As well as reducing overall fuel consumption, the addition of the Rotor Sail technology is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 900 tonnes per year.

Source: World’s only Rotor Sail passenger ship goes into service | New Atlas

  1. stewgreen says:

    A few years ago an Italian firm said they had perfected a similar MAGIC tower turbine
    ..not seen it since.

  2. Saighdear says:

    ONE ! One ? 1 rotor? as in Single? – for commercial use and Gain? Hmm think it’s more like a PR Stunt like electric / Hybrid cars. Could just as well have stuck PV panels on the decks ….. I’ve known of this rotor effect for years – been using them in double pairs …. was a novel tool at the time – too far ahead of its time.. Good luck to it any way !

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Saves 900 Ton / year, eh?

    How much fuel do cruise ships use?

    RMS Queen Mary uses 6 tonnes marine fuel per one hour. Celebrity Eclipse gets 56 feet to gallon. MS Zuiderdam – .0130 miles per gallon (0.34 tons fuel per mile). This may not seem very good mileage at first glance, however, cruise ships are moving at once thousands of people whereas a car is moving a few.

    So assuming it is at all near those numbers… 900 / .34 = 2647 miles. Per year. 7.2 miles / day. Just enough to get from port to international waters, then from international waters back to port…

    Yeah, that’s a “for show” thing…

    [reply] 900 tons of CO2, not fuel

  4. dodgy geezer says:

    …Its hull was hydrodynamically-optimized for low fuel consumption and soundproofing technology was fitted to keep noise down. So it already boasted some noteworthy green credentials….

    Where ‘green’ in this case means ‘profitable and luxurious’…..

  5. oldbrew says:

    Soundproofing would add weight – not ‘green’?

  6. ivan says:

    …has set sail on wind-assisted trips between Finland and Sweden
    So it is essentially in sheltered waters and not out in Atlantic gales.

    I assume this is another form of virtue signalling that is also good for PR and one-upmanship in the commercial world.

    Since this ship is a ferry which has a fixed schedule I don’t think they will be relying on this for propulsion but it might cut the fuel requirements for the lighting generators if they hook it up to one of them.

  7. Bloke down the pub says:

    Do they have unicorns on a treadwheel to turn the rotor?

  8. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Isn’t that like putting a wind generator on the roof of a car?

    [reply] it would seem so

  9. oldbrew says:

    No rotor sail, but…
    Hurtigruten goes hybrid-electric

    At least six vessels to get new gas-powered engines supported by batteries. Environmentalists call for other Arctic cruise-liners to follow.

    “The combination of batteries and the most environmental friendly and efficient gas-powered engines on the market result in a much better environmental footprint,” says Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten.
    – – –
    Not clear how/when the batteries get charged.

  10. John Silver says:

    It’s a joke.

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