Illustration of the Capesize bulk carrier with over-deck sails

(Source: Namura Shipbuilding)

Japanese partners plan wind power for Capesize bulkers

Osaka-based Namura Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. and Tokyo ship operator, NS Kaiun Kaisha Ltd., are collaborating in a joint research project aimed at using wind energy to raise efficiency on board a 183,000dwt Capesize bulk carrier.  

Shipbuilder Namura is convinced that future fuel-efficient technologies will incorporate wind energy as an indispensable source of power. The company has applied for a patent for its extending sail system, which is located under-deck between cargo holds and can generate extra forward thrust in favourable wind conditions.

When in use, the over-deck sails can be extended laterally to increase wind area and energy. They can also be rotated to generate the greatest benefits from wind direction. During cargo operations or when wind conditions are unfavourable, the sails will be stored again below deck.

SOLAS line-of-sight requirements are a consideration for the Capesize bulker and therefore the size and height of the sails will be adjusted accordingly, the partners said. This will mean steadily tapering the height of the sails between the bridge and the bow and reducing their width in forward areas so that vision from the brigde is not obstructed.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore