Maersk tanker to test using wind to save fuel

Maersk P-Class Illustration with two 30x5 Norsepower Rotor Sails. Image by Norsepower Oy Ltd (

March 15 (Renewables Now) - A project was announced on Tuesday that will see rotor sails tested on a ship owned by Maersk Tankers.

The initiative is a partnership between the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Norsepower Oy Ltd, Maersk Tankers and Shell Shipping and Maritime. According to the announcement, it will mark the first time wind-powered energy technology has been installed on a product tanker vessel.

The vessel will be equipped with two Norsepower rotor sails during the first half of 2018. This will be followed by a period of testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019. The two rotor sails are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%.

"Demonstrating the technology in this project will make it more attractive to shipping companies and investors, and could play a significant role in reducing the fuel costs and improving the environmental impact of shipping in the future," said Andrew Scott, programme manager HDV marine and offshore renewables at ETI.

The rotor sails of Finnish company Norsepower are a modernised version of the Flettner rotor -- a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. They are mainly designed for tankers, bulk carriers, ro-ro vessels and ferries, which, among other things, have the needed space on deck.

Join Renewables Now's free daily newsletter now!

More stories to explore
Share this story
About the author
Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

More articles by the author
5 / 5 free articles left this month
Get 5 more for free Sign up for Basic subscription
Get full access Sign up for Premium subscription