fuel conservation system
based in Hamburg, Germany are developing an international patent pending
propulsion system, harnessing the power of wind.
World trade relies on cargo vessels to transport good around the globe
with 98.2% of all intercontinental goods carried via sea, and 98%
of all cargo vessels powered by diesel engines. All this equates to
the fact 25 billion Euros worth of fuel was bought in the year 2002
The innovative SkySails system saves a considerable amount of fuel
over long voyages, therefore cutting costs and helping the environment.
The Skysails system consists of a large towing kite filled with compressed
air, and an autopilot and wind-optimised route management system.
The features of the SkySails technology enable ships to use wind power
with entirely novel performance characteristics.
optimally shaped aerofoil profiles of the Skysail, available with
sail areas of up to 5,000 square metres can be be released to a
fully adjustable height of 500m. The high altitude operation of
the Skysail is important as wind speed increases at height, even
when little wind is perceived at sea level sufficient wind energy
is available higher in the sky. This combined with refined weather
route management systems ensures adherence to schedules is easy.
A ship with a SkySails system does not heel, i.e. it does not tilt
to the side with the force of the wind. The ship and its crew are
not put at risk. Any potential danger to the ship is excluded by
the aerodynamic autopilot force control.
Because the SkySails system operates fully automatically the existing
crew is sufficient for the operation of the ship and the sail. During
flying operations an autopilot controls the handling of the Skysail.
Almost every sea-going vessel or cruising vessel as well as motor
and sailing yachts can be equipped or retrofitted with the SkySails
system. And when not in use the Skysail can be folded and stored
in any compact location.
of the SkySails system at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin in February
2003 helped find the ideal towing point of the kite on the ship. Interaction
of the cargo vessel hull with the Skysail was also investigated. To
do this the model cargo vessel was towed through the 300 metre long
towing basin. These tests formed the basis for later tests on the
Baltic sea in
the summer of 2003.