Japan-based Namura Shipbuilding and operator NS United Kaiun Kaisha have partnered in a joint research project to develop a wind-powered system for a 183,000-DWT Capesize bulk carrier. Namura has applied for a patent on a sail system in which extending sails are located under deck between the holds of a ship.

In use, the sails are elevated above deck and can also be extended laterally to increase the sail surface and hence the propulsion effect. The sails can also be rotated so as to take better advantage of wind direction and gain maximum propulsion effect. When wind conditions are not favourable, or when the ship is conducting cargo operations, the sails are retracted and stored below deck.

Also read: Wind assisted ship propulsion puts the sail back into sailing

The initial intention is to install the system on a 183,000-DWT bulk carrier. In order to preserve the SOLAS mandatory line of sight requirements from the bridge on such a long vessel, the size and height of the sails will be optimised. This involves the height of the sails reducing from the wheelhouse towards the bows. Nearer the bows, the height can be increased but the width narrowed allowing vision from the bridge to remain unobstructed.

Japan sets GHG reduction target at 46 per cent by 2030

International organisations and nation states have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) so as to mitigate climate change. The Japanese government, for example, has set this target at 46 per cent reduction by 2030, which will require development of new fuel efficient technology. Namura believes that fuel-efficient technology using wind power will become an indispensable technology to reach this target.

Also read: Tharsis Shipping orders new type of eConowind wind-assist installation