French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and the Finnish mechanical sail company, Norsepower have announced that the Norsepower Rotor Sail technology will be installed on LDA’s new low-emission ro-ro fleet to be chartered to Airbus.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a modernised version of the old Flettner rotor concept that uses electric power to actively rotate the cylinder-shaped rotors on the deck. These rotating sails use the wind to produce powerful thrust, reducing fuel consumption, lowering emissions and costs.
The new low-emission vessels, which will be used to ship aircraft components for Airbus, will each be equipped with a combination of six 35m tall Norsepower Rotor Sails and two dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Additionally, routeing software will optimise the vessels’ journey across the Atlantic, maximising wind propulsion and avoiding drag caused by adverse ocean conditions.
Mathieu Muzeau, LDA Transport and Logistic General Manager said: “While the IMO has set challenging targets to bring shipping to net-zero, wind propulsion is considered as a viable element of the sustainable energy mix for seagoing ships. We are proud to be part on the energy transition through our partnership with Norsepower to offer innovative solutions and sustainably driving change.”
By 2030, for the Transatlantic route, the new fleet will generate approximately 50% fewer CO2 emissions compared to 2023. The rotor sails will feature the new patented Norsepower Sentient Control (NPSCTM), a real-time force measurement, control and savings reporting system. This world-first tool enables each rotor to be controlled individually. This optimises efficiency by managing the complex aerodynamic interactions between the sails and the hydrodynamic behaviour of the vessel. Extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel tests have been carried out during the design phase to optimise the sail arrangement and design.
Tuomas Riski, CEO Norsepower, said: “This fleet-wide deal is a game changer for the whole auxiliary wind propulsion industry. Firstly, it is the biggest deal ever made in the mechanical sails market – and, in a world first, it includes our brand new Norsepower Sentient Control tool. We are honoured that the first charterer to utilise this advanced control system is Airbus, the foremost expert in aerodynamics in the world. We thank LDA and Airbus for being forerunners of this industry – and look forward to our continued cooperation.”
This agreement follows closely behind an order by another Louis Dreyfus company for bound4blue e-Sails for a juice carrier.
Image: LDA low-emission roro vessel with six Norsepower Rotor Sails (source: Norsepower/Blue Comms)