Rotor Sails saves cargo ships up to 20 percent fuel

Green power, rotor sail, ship, emissions

Two rotors would increase fuel savings to 5 percent. In theory, an optimal configuration of rotor sails will save 20% fuel.

The Finnish Norse Power is developing wind power propulsion systems for ships.

In 2014 a test on the North Sea did show the Rotor Sail System saved 2.6 percent fuel each rotor.

Norse Power uses so-called Flettner rotors for the propulsion. This rotor sail is used in addition to the normal engines.

Spinning rotor

The system uses a rotating cylinder to wind energy to convert it into propulsion. Just like a tennis ball, beaten with effect, the spinning rotor develops a force perpendicular to its own direction. This ensures a forward force in favorable wind conditions. The ship can therefore slow down the engines with the same speed.

20% savings possible

Norse Power installed the system on a ship of the Finnish company Bore, which sails between the Netherlands and Britain. The ship saved 2.6 % fuel, each rotor sail. Two rotors would increase fuel savings to 5 percent. In theory, an optimal configuration of rotor sails will save 20% fuel.

Rotor Sails are applicable to new and existing ships. The exact fuel savings will depend on:

  • the route of the ship
  • the weather
  • the characteristics of the ship

But, as CEO Tuomas Riski told us: “There are good tools to simulate the ship with the rotors and calculate the fuel savings.”

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