Wingsail Technology to Reduce Emissions and Fuel Consumption
Maritime transport consumes large amounts of fuel that can reach up to 4 tons per hour. With constantly expanding seaborne trade volumes, the shipping industry is also producing more and more emissions. Bound4blue designed a rigid wingsail system that should both, save fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
“It brings fuel savings up to 40% (and associated emissions reduction) with payback period under 5 years, offering a complete solution to the industry challenges in both existing and new vessels,” said Cristina Sinvi, the co-founder and COO at bound4blue. “This is critical for an industry looking for more efficient propulsion systems and emissions reduction.”
Wingsail or an Airplane Wing?
Ships are powered by the thrust of their engines which need large amounts of fuel. Bound4blue’s system uses effective thrust from the windpower, so ships will not have to rely solely on engine power, reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Combining their knowledge from aerospace engineering, space and wingsail technology, the founders designed a windsail that looks more like an airplane wing than a traditional sail. It can be rotated in order to optimize thrust and is foldable into the deck for easy loading and discharging.
Let’s Crack Some Numbers
Bound4blue promises fuel consumption reduction without changing traditional routes. Imagine Handymax bulk carrier travelling from Lisbon to Liverpool. This ship can carry 50.000 tons of dead weight – an equivalent to more than 8.000 adult elephants. With the installation of 3 wingsails, it could potentially save 700.000 euros on fuel annually, according to Bound4blue’s calculations.
The wingsail system is said to be easy to operate, without having to train the crew. Bound4blue plans to integrate the system for its first two customers at the beginning of 2019. “We are also progressing on the implementation in a 60 m cargo vessel owned by La Fura dels Baus, a theatrical group that will use the vessel to perform in the upcoming years a worldwide celebration of the 500 years from Magallanes circumnavigation, which will give great visibility to the company’s solution,“ said Cristina Sinvi.