A 20% fuel efficiency savings for a two-day rebuild is nothing to sneeze at, which explains why leading shipper Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. is adding more wind power punch to its existing cargo ship roster. The company has ordered three more Seawing sails in addition to the previous order from Airseas. Even better, from a carbon-cutting perspective, K Line also expects to use artificial intelligence to derive even cleaner energy from centuries-old marine technology.
20% Fuel Savings for Two-Day Upgrade!
If the name Airseas rings a bell, it’s probably because of its association with the well-known aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Sailed across the seas of air CleanTechnica radar last fall, when we noted that it was built by former engineers at Airbus (for the record, it is also funded and supported by Airbus, the EU and other partners).
“The latest entry in the expansion of wind-powered technology for cargo ships is a giant, kite-like sail strapped to the ship’s deck. Ville de Bordeauxa roll-on/roll-off ship put into operation by leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
According to Airseas, it takes just two days to equip a vessel with a Seawing sail, and owners can expect a quick return on their wind power investment. Typical fuel savings are around 20%.
If that sounds like a lot of revenue for just one sail, Airseas has an explanation. The sail behaves more like a kite on a string than a sail that has been lashed to a pole.
They explain that “The Seawing flies at over 200m to take advantage of steadier and stronger winds” and add that “The Seawing flies dynamically in a figure-8 trajectory at over 100km/h, which is 10 times faster than static generates a lot of traction. kite or sail.”
In practice, results may vary. The company states a savings level of 10% and a ceiling of up to 40%.
As far as the sail is concerned, nothing is raised by anyone.
“Using automation technologies from the aerospace sector, the Seawing is activated with the push of a button and is 100% automated. It’s simple to use, controlled from the bridge, and requires minimal training for crews to deploy and operate,” notes Airseas, an important point as the entire maritime industry struggles with labor shortages. The last thing a cargo ship captain needs is the crew’s time and attention. is another piece of equipment.
More AI for more wind power
All this is just for beginners. K Line has big ideas for wind power. The company’s initial order of two Seawings for two Capesize bulkers was an ambitious start, given that “Capesize” refers to the largest bulk cargo ship.
K Line’s first Capesize Seawing is not scheduled to be extended until December, but it needs to be confident of its ROI. In addition to ordering three more Seawings (for three smaller “post-Panamax” bulkers), the company signed a technology development agreement with Airseas that will apply artificial intelligence to integrate other ship operations with wind power.
“K LINE and AIRSEAS have signed a technology development agreement for the efficient use of traction power from the renewable energy Seawing,” explains K Line. “Specifically, the contract aims to maximize Seawing performance by integrating K’LINE ship operational technology using Kawasaki Integrated Maritime Solutions and AIRSEAS’ Seawing development technology.”
The K-IMS angle dates back to 2016 when K Line and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd Group announced that they were developing K-IMS as an advanced vessel operation and performance management system.
K-IMS combined K-Line’s existing Vessel Performance Analysis System and Engine Plant Monitor with additional operational and navigational data provided by the new Optimum Navigation System.
“The integration of these individual systems allows us to use the so-called “Big data” from ships in real-time operational data in interactive systems, as well as to support the operation of the ship by sensing the ship in real-time and to easily manage the ship’s performance. working conditions, optimal safety route selection, latest ship performance, etc. through a new data review system we’ve developed,” K-Line explained.
“K-IMS can be shared between operational teams, ship management companies and ships,” they added. “Therefore, it will not only improve the safety of navigation and save fuel, but also significantly improve the efficient operation and management of the ship.”
Last year, K-Line and Kawasaki Heavy Industries also announced the completion of a joint development agreement for something called the Artificial Intelligence-Based Marine Machine Operational Support System, known as “The System,” as the core technology enabling the autonomous ship of the future. .
“Given safer operations at sea, improved working environment for seafarers and higher pressure on industry competitiveness, expectations for autonomous operations for ships are increasing these days,” explained K-Line, so stay tuned for more on this. do it
What’s next for shippers?
Offshore is just one of several ways that wind power is coming back to work for the shipping industry. CleanTechnica recently noted rotating tubular, vertical “sails” based on technology developed for racing yachts and rigid sails that function like airplane wings.
A running variation CleanTechnica the radar is a WISAMO, a type of inflatable wing sail developed by Michelin that hit the scene last fall.
“The name of the WISAMO project is derived from the first 2 letters of the words ‘Wing Sail’ and ‘Mobility’, and was born from the meeting of Michelin’s Research and Development department and two Swiss inventors who share the Group’s vision of ‘everything sustainable’,” explains Michelin.
The sail is designed for most boats, pleasure boats as well as commercial use.
It looks like Ro-Ro ships will be the first to participate in the new wind power plan, meaning ships equipped to transport cars and other vehicles. Earlier this year, Michelin signed a contract with Compagnie Maritime Nantaise and installed a prototype version on the MN Pélican Ro-Ro.
They expect the wind-powered ship to be operational on the route between Spain and the UK by the end of this year.
“Thanks to this installation, the WISAMO wing will be tested under actual commercial marine navigation conditions and will contribute to the industrial development phase of the new technology. If the trials are concluded, the partnership agreement could open the door to trials using a larger winged sail, a major step towards the decarbonisation of maritime transport,” enthused Michelin.
Michelin is also testing the prototype with famous sailor Michel Desjoyeaux.
Despite all the hype, wind power has barely made a dent in the shipping scene, at least not yet. However, things are moving fast. Although not a complete role, wind energy can play an important role in the decarbonization of the shipping industry in the near future. Green ammonia fuel and other low-carbon alternatives to heavy diesel fuel are also in the mix, along with batteries and fuel cells.
Follow me on Twitter @TinaMCasey.
Image: Wind power for cargo ships from Airseas.
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