Norsepower to pilot sail technology on product tankers, taking lead position in competition

Norsepower to pilot sail technology on product tankers, taking lead position in competition

Mar 16, 2017
Energy & resource efficiency
Renewables & smart grid
Marine & shipping

Norsepower’s fuel-efficient technology expected to save approximately 10% in fuel consumption and associated emissions on Maersk tankers.

Norsepower Oy in partnership with Maersk Tankers, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and Shell Shipping & Maritime will install and trial Flettner rotor sails onboard a Maersk vessel.

The project will be the first installation of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel, and will provide insights into fuel savings and operational experience.

Marsk product tanker vessel will be retrofitted with two 30m tall by 5m diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails. Each Rotor Sail is manufactured by applying the latest intelligent lightweight composite sandwich materials offering a simple yet robust hi-tech solution. When wind conditions are favourable, the main engines can be throttled back, providing a net fuel cost and emission savings, while not impacting scheduling.


“Together with our partners, we have the opportunity to deploy an innovative technology that can improve fuel efficiency on our LR2 product tanker vessels and help to reduce their environmental impact,” tells Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer, Maersk Tankers.

Main part of the funding is by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) of UK, with contributions from Maersk Tankers and Norsepower. Shell will be acting as project coordinator, providing operational and terminal / port consultancy and Maersk Tankers will provide technical and operational insight.

“We are privileged and excited to be collaborating with Maersk Tankers, Shell, and the ETI on this project. We are optimistic that support for this trial from these industry leading organisations will open up the market for our technology to a larger number of long-range product tanker vessels,” says Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower.

“At Shell, we believe that innovation and technology are key elements to improving the efficiency and environmental performance of shipping operations. We look forward to using our shipping and technical expertise to support this trial,” comments Karrie Trauth, General Manager, Technology & Innovation, Shell Shipping & Maritime.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship.

“Flettner rotors have the potential to reduce ship fuel consumption substantially, especially on tankers and dry bulk carriers. It is one of the few fuel saving technologies that could offer double digit percentage improvements. To date, there has been insufficient full scale demonstration on a suitable ocean going marine vessel to prove the technology benefits and operational impact,” adds Andrew Scott, Programme Manager HDV marine and offshore renewable energy, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The rotor sails will be fitted during the first half of 2018, before undergoing testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019. Independent experts will be analysing the data gathered from the project before publishing technical and operational insights, and performance studies.

Norsepower has won Innovation of the Year Award in 2016 Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards.

Picture credit: Norsepower

Source: Norsepower


Companies in the sector

Norsepower Oy Ltd

Marine & shipping