Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Future fleet of low-emission RoRos to use Norsepower rotor sails

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA), a leading French shipowner, and Norsepower, a Finnish wind propulsion technology company, have joined forces to install the Norsepower Rotor Sail technology on the new low-emission RoRo fleet to be chartered to Airbus.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a modernized version of the old Flettner rotor concept. The Rotor Sail uses electric power to actively rotate cylinder-shaped rotors on the deck, which then leverages wind power to produce powerful thrust. The result is reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, and, ultimately, reduced costs.

The new low-emission vessels, which will be used to ship aircraft components for Airbus, will each be powered by a combination of six 35-meter tall Norsepower Rotor Sails and two dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Additionally, routing software will optimize the vessels’ journey across the Atlantic, maximizing wind propulsion and avoiding drag caused by adverse ocean conditions.

“While the IMO has set challenging targets to bring shipping to net zero, wind propulsion is considered a viable element of the sustainable energy mix for seagoing ships. We are proud to be part of the energy transition through our partnership with Norsepower to offer innovative solutions and sustainably drive change,” said Mathieu Muzeau, Transport and Logistic General Manager at Louis Dreyfus Armateurs.

The new fleet will generate fewer CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2023 for the Transatlantic route. The rotor sails will be equipped with the Norsepower Sentient Control, which is a real-time force measurement, control, and savings reporting system.

This world-first tool will enable each rotor to be controlled individually, optimizing efficiency by managing the complex aerodynamic interactions between the sails and the hydrodynamic behavior of the vessel. It’s impressive that the design phase involved extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel tests to optimize the sail arrangement and design.

“This fleet-wide deal is a game changer for the whole auxiliary wind propulsion industry. Firstly, it is the biggest deal ever made in the mechanical sails market – and, in a world first, it includes our brand new Norsepower SentientControl tool. We are honored that the first charterer to utilize this advanced control system is Airbus, the foremost expert in aerodynamics in the world. We thank LDA and Airbus for being forerunners of this industry – and look forward to our continued cooperation!” said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower.