Sails for Modern Cargo Ships

Posted on January 21, 2008  Comments (3)

photo of Sky Sail in action

Kite-powered ship sets sail for greener future

A cargo ship pulled by a giant, parachute-shaped kite will leave Germany on Tuesday on a voyage that could herald a new “green” age of commercial sailing on the high seas.

During the journey from Bremen to Venezuela, the crew will deploy a SkySail, a 160 square metre kite which will fly more than 600ft above the vessel, where winds are stronger and more consistent than at sea level. Its inventor, Stephan Wrage, a 34-year-old German engineer, claims the kite will significantly reduce carbon emissions, cutting diesel consumption by up to 20 per cent and saving £800 a day in fuel costs. He believes an even bigger kite, up to 5,000 square metres, could result in fuel savings of up to 35 per cent.

From the Sky Sails site:

The planned product range contains towing kite propulsion systems with a nominal propulsion power of up to 5,000 kW (about 6,800 HP). On annual average fuel costs can be lowered between 10-35% depending on actual wind conditions and actual time deployed. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumptions can temporarily be reduced up to 50%.

Go Engineering!

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3 Responses to “Sails for Modern Cargo Ships”

  1. Anonymous
    March 19th, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

    I love the enterprise of environmentalists in working on ways to cut carbon emissions. Cutting diesel consumption by 20 per cent is an amazing way to start, let alone 35 per cent. The only problem is that it has been over a year since this has happened and i have not heard of continuing development of this? Has it failed to impact on sea freight industry? I know it is silly to assume it would be on every cargo ship in the ocean by now, but there has not been much press, or perhaps i am just misinformed.

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