Image: Wind Assisted Propulsion

Wind Assisted Propulsion

Propulsion by the force of wind

With the increasing focus on reducing greenhouse gases and increasing marine fuels prices, the application of Wind Assisted Propulsion systems has grown over the last years. Especially for cargo vessels with defined sailing routes, the application of wind assisted propulsion systems is getting common nowadays.

Parameters such as required deckspace, weight and center of gravity of the system determine which type of wind propulsion system is best suited to do the job. Depending on these requirements, the following systems can be used:

  • Rotor sails
  • Wing sails
  • Square rigs
  • Kite propulsion
  • Turbo sails
  • Or any means of wind assisted propulsion

Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam has been focusing on the application of Wind Assisted Propulsion systems on special purpose vessels. These vessels are characterized by their non-repeating operational sequence, irregular power demand and worldwide operating areas. As most of the vessels have operating modes at low or zero speed, the efficiency of wind propulsion can be utilized over a shorter operating period. Either in transit conditions, or during specific operations with steady heading and constant thrust requirements.

Feasibility of Wind Assisted Propulsion

To study the feasibility of wind assisted propulsion, several vessel types have been investigated on the application of the available systems. The selection for which a technical analysis is executed includes:

  • a trailing suction hopper dredger
  • a heavy transport vessel 
  • an offshore support vessel 

These technical solutions have been projected on a common operational profile of the vessels, in combination with wind statistics for the selected regions. This analysis resulted in an overview of efficiency gains, investments, technical limitations and the effect on reducing GHG’s. The results look promising for further reducing emissions and work towards a green maritime future.

Contact us about Wind Assisted Propulsion

Are you considering a Wind Assisted Propulsion system for a new design or existing vessel? Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam is happy support you on your business case and technical validation. Contact us.


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