Norsepower rotor sails lead to fuel savings on a ropax

2019-05-20T07:19:37+00:00 May 20th, 2019|Technology|

Independent test results have showed that Norsepower’s Rotor Sail technology has great potential to deliver savings on the Viking Line-owned and operated ropax Viking Grace.

Long term LNG marine fuel savings are expected to be in the region of 300 tonnes annually.

When looking at fuel consumption alone over the measurement period, the savings were not immediately evident. However, when expert analysis companies NAPA and ABB reviewed the data, they were able to isolate an evident change in the propulsion power breakdown of ‘Viking Grace, caused by the Rotor Sail. The same conclusion was confirmed with a strain gauge analysis, where the sail’s forward thrust was measured and converted into propulsion power.

Based on the different analyses, the expected long-term change in ‘Viking Grace’s annual fuel consumption, due to the Rotor Sail, has been verified to be between 231 and 315 tonnes per year, equalling an average propulsion power of between 207kW and 282kW.

According to the analysis results, the sail delivers more forward thrust on the open sea legs of the voyage, but due to the route being located mostly in the archipelago, the annual fuel savings potential is the same in both areas.

As a result, Viking Line and Norsepower have agreed to continue to use and optimise the Rotor Sail on the Viking Gracewith the technology now fully operational.

Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, commented: “When the test period began, we had some challenges with our new product, but were able to fix them quickly, and since the end of September, 2018, the technical availability of the Rotor Sail has been around 97%.

“We are pleased to see that independent testing from respected, independent companies NAPA and ABB has shown impressive fuel savings potential on the Viking Grace. This project has confirmed, that our technology works also with high-speed cruise ferries and that favourable results can be achieved with a service speed of 21 knots.

”During the last year we have been using the Rotor Sails in extreme weather conditions, including icing events and high wind speeds, in which the Rotor Sail has been operational. Based on the harsh weather experiences so far, the Rotor Sail can be operated around the year without any weather-related issues,” he claimed.

Commenting on the trials, Jan Hanses, Viking Line CEO, said: “As an Åland shipping company, we rely on the sea for our livelihood so it’s of prime importance for us to promote the well-being of the marine sea. We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load.

“Viking Line has been testing the Rotor Sail on Viking Grace for a year now, and together with Norsepower we will continue testing and optimising the sail for its current route. We are proud to be the first in the world to trial Norsepower’s world-class mechanical Rotor Sail Solution on a cruise ferry,” he said.

“This analysis showcases the importance of onboard data collection and the value of ABB’s analytical services. Besides optimising operations through improved energy efficiency on board ‘Viking Grace’, the data collected by ABB Ability Marine Advisory System OCTOPUS was used to calculate the savings gained from the Rotor Sail without disturbing operations,” explained Marcus Högblom, ABB Marine & Ports Head of Passenger Vessel segment.

Jaakko Talonen, Data Scientist, NAPA,added: “In the actual navigational conditions there is always variation in the environment, which has an important effect on the fuel consumption. This is why a statistical regression model was applied, to overcome the variations in the comparison conditions and to disclose the effect of the Rotor Sail. The long history of NAPA on ship performance modelling gave a really good basis for the study.”