Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has begun an onshore demonstration test of a new prototype sailing rig that they believe has great potential for reducing vessel CO2 emissions.
MOL/ Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) tests of the "Power Assist Sail" were started at the Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) Oita Works in June 2013.
The joint study of the Power Assist Sail, has produced the prototype for the demonstration test, which is large enough to use on an actual vessel.
The Power Assist Sail provides supplementary propulsion force for the vessel by using the lift force of crosswinds, similar to the wings of an airplane, and drag from tailwinds.
The number of the sailing rigs to be used on a vessel will be adjusted based on scale of the vessel and the CO2 reduction target, thus optimizing the system for individual ships. The goal is to install the sail rig without making major design changes to existing vessels, while reducing CO2 emissions by 2-5%.
Through this onshore demonstration test, MOL will examine performance and durability of the equipment and fine-tune the equipment for use on actual vessels.
Characteristics of Power Assist Sail
- Superior durability with aluminum alloy main unit and steel mast and drive system
- Sailing-rig angle can be automatically controlled to gain maximum propulsion force according to wind direction, wind speed, vessel speed, and bow direction.
- The lower part of the mast bends so the rig can be stowed in adverse weather conditions or when winds are calm (photo 2). This minimizes the effect on vessel operation when the system is not in use.
ClassNK's "Joint R&D with Industries and Academic Partners" program also supported research and development efforts of the Power Assist Sail.