Ropax trials to validate wind rotor technology

2020-08-29T07:29:27+00:00 August 29th, 2020|Technology|

At the end of May a new Norsepower Rotor Sail was installed on Scandlines ropax ‘Copenhagen’, which operates on the Rostock-Gedser route.

The installation was undertaken as part of the EU funded Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project that was launched in late 2019 with the aim to install five wind assisted propulsion units on different vessels operating in the North Sea and Baltic Sea to test, validate and help facilitate the uptake off wind-assisted propulsion technologies.

These systems are expected to deliver between 4 – 5% fuel savings – corresponding to the same amount of CO2 – and more than 20% in optimal wind conditions.

In two months of daily operations have been completed with ‘Copenhagen’ since this wind-assisted system was installed and initial impressions of the technology from the crew, the Master and the passengers are being assimilated.

The necessary steel foundation (21 tonnes) for the 42-tonne Rotor Sail was fitted during a yard visit in November, 2019. The installation of the Norsepower supplied 30 m Rotor Sail, was installed on the vessel during an overnight stay in Rostock.

This was key, as the ropaxes senior Master, Alan Bach explained: “We were able to complete almost everything within the limited time of just a few hours. This was key as we are operating on a 24/7 basis. Every loss of service or revenue is naturally critical for ferry operations.”

Another element of the WASP project is the monitoring and validation of the equipment and its performance. Scandlines COO, Michael Guldmann Petersen said: “We’re expecting 4-5% reduction in CO2 emissions, which is not an insignificant amount and if everything goes well, we are considering further installations in the future.

“We are very happy that the system is fully automated and we’re expecting little in the way of technical problems, the last month of operations has been quite smooth and we see that continuing throughout the test period,” he said.

In addition, the German environmental association NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union), which has a long-term partnership with Scandlines focusing on the improvement of the companies’ environmental footprint, expressed satisfaction with the steps taken.

“This is great news for climate and environment. NABU is happy to see real change following the ambitious announcements made by Scandlines. Scandlines is driving forward the way to de-carbonise shipping and pioneering green technologies,” said Sönke Diesener, NABU’s Transport Policy Officer based in Berlin.

Tuomas Riski, Norsepower CEO, said: “Scandlines has a strong track record of investing in new clean technologies to reduce emissions across its fleet. The ability to harness the wind through Norsepower’s Rotor Sail – alongside hydrodynamic hull optimisation, and hybrid electric propulsion system with a battery powered energy storage – makes the ‘Copenhagen’ one of the world’s most energy-efficient ferries.”