The cruise ferry Viking Grace, which was built in 2013 specifically for the route Stockholm (Sweden) – Turku (Finland), is the world’s first hybrid passenger vessel and will use wind energy along with the main power plant. The Finnish ferry operator Viking Line will be the first to introduce the technology on their cruise and ferry ships, said the shipping company. On board of the cruise ferry will be installed cylinder with height of 24.00 m and a width of 4.00 m. During sail, the cylinder rotates around its axis, creating phenomenon in which the air flow around the rotating body and creates additional power.
The new technology is called Rotor Sail Solution and developed by the Finnish company Norsepower, which is one of the leaders in the introduction of renewable energy sources in the marine industry. Into the ferry will be used turbosail, which is also called rotary sail, is the first such propulsion developed and patented a German engineer Anton Flettner in 1922. It spawned a class of rotary vessels using as a propulsion device characteristic. However, the introduction of large-scale development in maritime transport it came only at the turn of XX-XXI centuries.
The development of Norsepower is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor and quite compact. The operation of the propulsion unit is a physical phenomenon in which the air flow around the rotating body, creates an additional force. This effect allows the ship to move with much more momentum, as using the classic bulky sails. This phenomenon is called the Magnus effect, which will be used by cruise ferry Viking Grace and opens new age for maritime transport.
Preliminary studies promise a significant reduction in fuel consumption and therefore emissions. Viking Grace uses as fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG). Its consumption when using the installation Rotor Sail Solution will be reduced by 300 tons per year. Thus, the most environmentally friendly ship in the region will become even more green. The combination in one vessel engines to LNG, electric drive propellers, a special form of the body and the rotor sails – not found anywhere else in the world, makes Viking Grace one of the most environmental vessels in the world.
The technology has already proved its commercial viability of the operation on cargo ships. Preparing to implement the system on Viking Grace begun and will be completed in 2018 with the installation of turbosail. It is fully automatic and starts when the wind load is sufficient to be effective. If the system is not needed, it requires absolutely no additional cost.
“This is the first use of wind power for such a large cruise ship as the Viking Grace. As an engineering company based in Finland, we are proud to work with a large and well-known shipping concern. Together we go to a new era, where the use of an auxiliary wind power will be an important part of maritime transport”, said the CEO of Norsepower, Tuomas Riski.
The Rotor Sail Solution from Norsepower was named “Innovation of the Year” in 2016 at the exhibition Electric and Hybrid Marine World Expo in Amsterdam. Today it is one of the most promising developments in the field of renewable energy sources in maritime transport. Independent studies show that technology can save up to 20% of fuel per year, depending on weather conditions.