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World's first Rotor Sail passenger ship sets sail

16/04/2018
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The M/S Viking Grace set sail this week as the only passenger ship in the world equipped with a Rotor Sail to harness wind power for propulsion. Developed by Finnish company Norsepower, the Rotor Sail will cut fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 900 tonnes annually.
Developed by Finnish company Norsepower, the Rotor Sail will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
(Image via Norsepower).

The Rotor Sail technology makes use of the Magnus effect- where wind passing a spinning cylinder moves the air faster on one side than the other, resulting in thrust at 90 degrees to the wind direction. Norsepower’s version of the Rotor Sail is fully automated and sense whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotor starts automatically. The Rotor Sail unit fitted to the ship is 24m in height and 4m in diameter and is essentially a modernised version of the Flettner rotor.

When it comes to world firsts, the M/S Viking Grace is no stranger, having previously been the first passenger ship of its size to be fuelled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The ship was also designed with a hydrodynamically-optimised hull for low fuel consumption with soundproofing technology also fitted to reduce noise levels.
The M/S Viking Grace will ferry passengers between Turku in Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
(Image via Norsepower).

The M/S Viking Grace made its first voyage on 12th April and will regularly ferry passengers between Turku in Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Commenting on the new technology, Jan Hanses, CEO of Viking Line, the operators of the M/S Viking Grace, said:

“We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical Rotor Sail solution that will help to reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution.”
Viking Line intends to install two Rotor Sails onboard a newbuild cruise ferry which is due to be operational in 2020.
(Image via Norsepower).

The basic design and idea of the Flettner rotor has been around for over 90 years. However, with the rise of environmental regulations, the concept of rotor sails has gained much interest in the global maritime community. This is further fuelled by the advancements in manufacturing, material and technological solutions.

In addition to the installation onboard the M/S Viking Grace, Viking Line intends to install two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard a newbuild cruise ferry vessel which is currently being built in China and due to be operational in 2020.

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World's first Rotor Sail passenger ship sets sail - Time to read 3 min
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