Is the ‘VindSkip’ the Future Cargo Ship?
A new ship design has been released by Norwegian company Lade AS which aims to profoundly cut the pollution levels the current generation of container ships presently emit.
According to CNN, the cargo ship, known as the ‘VindSkip’, aims to use high sides as sails to propel itself through the water.
Operating with an LNG engine, the ship could be capable of achieving fuel savings of 60% and an emission reduction of 80%.
The ship’s designer, Terje Lade of Oslo-based company Lade AS, said that the ships aero-dynamic design makes it more like an aeroplane as opposed to a traditional cargo ship.
Terje Lade said: "In the era of Christopher Columbus, for example, he would have used what became known as trade winds but his ship was quite different from the VindSkip because he would have been sailing with the wind -- he couldn't sail into the wind.
"VindSkip can almost sail into the wind. It uses apparent wind, or the sail wind, to generate pull in much the same way that an airplane will take off when it reaches a certain speed."
Computer software is an important component of the new design as it helps the ship calculate the best route based on current weather conditions.
Commenting on the capabilities of the software, Terje Lade added: "With this software, you input when you want to leave and when you want to arrive, the weather forecast is loaded into the program and then it calculates the best route.
"This would be dynamically updated every day. At each waypoint it would check with the time arrival and tell the crew whether to speed up using the engines or slow down; it makes it very easy for the crew."
(Source: JBS News)
Talking of the reduction in fuel and the cost of fuel, Laura Walther, Researcher at CML in Hamburg, said: "With our weather routing module the best route can be calculated in order to consume as little fuel as possible. As a result costs are reduced. After all, bunker expenses account for the largest part of the total costs in the shipping industry."
Current international regulations cap sulphur content at 3.5%, however this is expected to drop to 0.5% by 2020.
Terje Lade concluded that the VindSkip can run on LNG due to its low fuel-consumption, meaning that there isn’t any sulphur emitted from the ship at all.