Jul 3, 2023 | Maritime & emissions research news

The EU Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) Project has now ended, with the conclusion that wind energy use has positive applications for  commercial ships

  • The EU-Interreg North Sea Region project ‘WASP: Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion’ reported that:
  • Five commercial vessels were retrofitted with wind-assist systems.
  • Three different wind propulsion technologies were tested.
  • Third-party validations have been conducted to verify actual fuel savings achieved.

Other key deliverables concerning performance indicators, standard sea trials, decision making tools have also been concluded.

Funded by the Interreg North Sea Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the WASP project brought universities, wind-assist technology providers and ship owners together to research, trial and validate the operational performance of a selection of wind propulsion solutions.

After three and a half years the project generated a significant stream of much-needed information and transparency around wind propulsion technology selection, installation and operation, contributing greatly to the general development of the wind-assist sector both in the North Sea region and beyond.

The five installations of wind propulsion technology will continue to serve as examples of how wind propulsion systems can be deployed as retrofits on various different vessels. As expected, fuel savings from these systems were variable, delivering up to 10% saving depending on the route and vessel operational profile.  These installations have contributed to the generation of three points of reference for different wind propulsion technologies and shipping segments that will support ship owners to make investment decisions going forward.

Marko Möller, Manager Special Projects Scandlines, said: “We are proud to be part of this amazing project. By the WASP installations realised and evaluated during the project lifetime, wind technology proved to be an important element of the decarbonisation process of shipping. For Scandlines, the positive results were a decisive factor to install another rotor sail on the sister ferry of the Copenhagen.”

Johan Boomsma, Co-owner Boomsma Shipping, said: “We believe energy efficiency is key and are always open to new developments. That is why we are sailing with the eConowind VentiFoils on mv Frisian Sea. I think the three major factors – unit costs, fuel prices and European ETS legislation – are combining in such a way that wind-assisted propulsion will soon become one of the standard solutions.’’

The WASP project has played a key role in developing standard procedures for sea trials for wind propulsion technology-equipped vessels and the creation of standards for KPIs in collaboration with the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC). These are considered significant developments that reduce the barriers for the uptake of wind propulsion solutions.

In addition to the vessel installations, the project has had a strong focus on the educational field. 12 key educational events have been held at project partner universities along with others in Enkhuizen Maritime Academy, the Delft Technical University and the World Maritime University.

Although the project has drawn to a close, the continued use of the deliverables from the project’s four work packages will help to inform the industry and policy makers going forward. The project has already contributed to a better informed shipping sector in the EU when it comes to wind propulsion technologies and the North Sea region continues to be at the forefront of developments in the field.

The WASP Project website will remain active and project partners will continue to build on the foundations laid by the project. Visitors to the website can access information about the technology installations and track the ships fitted with wind propulsion technology as part of the project. The output section on the website houses copies of all of the deliverables from the project partners, including scientific reports, policy briefs, academic papers, finance and decision-making tools.

Advertise with Clean Shipping International

Sign up for the Newsletter

Keep up to date with news and events in the industry.

We do not share your information with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.