K Line and Airseas win approval for kite-based propulsion system


Classification Society ClassNK has granted an Approval in Principle (AIP) to Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and Airseas SAS for their automated kite system ‘Seawing’.

In a statement, ClassNK said the AIP was granted based on its ‘Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships’ and related regulations.

‘Seawing’ is a kite system which assists vessel propulsion by harnessing natural wind power through its dynamic flight, according to Airseas, an offshoot of Airbus, and K Line, one third of the Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE).

The ‘Seawing’ system collects and analyses meteorological and oceanic data in real-time, then adapts its flight to this information in order to optimize its performance as well as to ensure maximum safety.”

ClassNK released its Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships in September 2019 in order to contribute to the safe integrity and design of this technology and the ships that are installed with it.

Upon receiving the application from ‘K’ Line and Airseas, ClassNK reviewed the basic design of the kite system in line with relevant international conventions, ClassNK rules, and the above-mentioned guidelines.

Following its successful completion, ClassNK granted an AIP for the basic design of the kite system.

ClassNK will continue to support the smooth implementation of new technologies through its role as a third-party certification body.

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