The Big Question: Will sail powered ships make a comeback?

Sail powered ship

Why are we asking this now?

It is said that sailing ships are very capable to make an efficient use of wind energy. The ship with technology advanced quality plus sustainable energy production is already invented by the name of cargo ships. However, they are not so much in demand because of their inconvenient and impractical design. Due to this reason, recently one of the renowned companies of Germany has given a parachute like design to cargo ships in order to enhance their accessibility to wind power. In later times, the more advanced design is introduced for cargo ships. The rigid sail panels are incorporated with solar collectors. It is believed that the combination of solar technology and wind power technology can actually help to reduce the plenty usage of fossil fuels in countries.

Is it really that serious?

Nowadays, many sailing ships are now used to empower various wind-based vessels. As a result, many ships with low consumption benefit and fewer emissions are designed to reinforce the usability of sailing ships for contribution in land grid and many more. Recently, sail-powered cargo ships also tested and gave result of cutting fuel consumption up to 20 percent. At the same time, some owners also tried to prove that modern steel ships could make sufficient use of wind power and reduce the dependence of ships on diesel engines. Further, few also claimed on better application of SkySail to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption. The flying style, just like any other normal kite, makes SkySail more advanced especially in terms of fuel saving up to 35 percent.

What others are saying?

Many related inventors stated that cargo ships are very soon going to become the commercial medium of sailing in seas. The MS Beluga’s owner also believed on better performance of modern steel ships than conventional diesel engines. On the other side, the SkySail inventor Stephan Wrage also claimed about his invention in respect of better efficiency with low fuel consumption and lesser carbon emissions.

The developments

1. Carbon-neutral sail-powered cargo ships

Carbon-Neutral Sail-Powered Cargo Ship

This is one of very advanced models introduced for the cargo ships. The ship is powered with automatically adjusted sailing condition as per the wind flow. In addition, it works like a kite when the need so arises. The ship is also equipped with bio-fuel powered engine to reduce the chances of pollution. The entire design of the ship is prepared by emphasizing more on green culture. Therefore, light construction materials are used in order to improve the ship’s performance. Apart from it, the ship’s body made of steel vessels is especially prepared by using recycled materials such as wood. This step directly helps to stop the release of fossil carbon in the air. This progressed form of cargo ships can easily run on liquid natural gas.

2. KitVes Project to help cargo ships generate electricity from wind

KitVes Project

Apart from ship’s propulsion systems, now companies are keener to work on different project of cargo ships. The project is mainly based on harnessing wind power and uses them specifically for electric power generation. In this way, a support can be provided to on-board auxiliary services. For the efficient harnessing of wind energy, a special design of kites with hundred square meters is introduced. The kite can be controlled and varied at a height of 1000 meters. This whole set up is attached to electrical generator to rotate and finally generate electric power. The kites are wound and unwound based on wind resistance with the involvement of yo-yo phenomenon. It is said that the power is generated at around 60 kilowatt. This much energy can sufficiently be used for electronic set up in the ship.

3. Kite-powered ship sets sail to reduce emissions, save diesel

Kite-powered ship

The green future is quite possible with the application of wind energy in ships. The cargo ships inventor has come up with amazing innovation, which replaces the diesel engines with modern steel ships along with wind power energy. A 160 sq m kite, called skySail, is efficient enough to fly more than 600 feet above the main vessel. It is also said that if this particular designed ship will successfully work in strong and consistent wind areas like above sea level, then such an invention will definitely bring revolution in current times. Such ships not only reduce the carbon emissions, rather they also help in controlling pollution in the environment.

The main hurdles:

It is said that the positive application of all latest designed ships can only be seen after their performance in tough situations like long voyage comprising of stresses and strains. Besides, the cargo ships performance depends entirely on wind availability in sailing areas. The main drawback of sailing ship is that it carries quantity of goods in holds. As a result, long voyages plan can become risky at times.

What can be done?

The efficient and fruitful application of cargo ships is possible just by combining the solar technology with usual design of cargo ships. The addition of solar collectors can actually enhance the harness capacity of ships. Ultimately, major reduction in fossil fuel usage can also be obtained. As a result, the green house gas emissions and other pollutants are also controlled.