Could ships use sails again?

Examensarbete på grundnivå
Ek, Anton
Wai Sy, Wung
In the year between 1600-1850 the sailings ship was a dominated role in the world’s ocean, so called the “age of sails” (Houstoun, E., 2016). Since then there has been various of developments on technologies utilizing wind. Sails has been the most common means of propulsion during the age of sails however, time passes, and new innovations has surfaced with a more reliable system. Despite new technologies the international shipping is releasing roughly 13% and 12% nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) during 2007 to 2012 which have an environmental and health impact. The constant increase in environmental regulations is now posing a challenge for the shipping industry. This is forcing the industry to use cleaner fuels and to seek new methods of propulsion, since ships are widely recognized as a major source of pollutants and is contributing 90% of the global trade. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether it is viable to promote green ships concept by implementing wind power in today’s shipping industry either as a replacement or as an addition to support our current propulsion system without any major compromises. Since wind is a clean and renewable energy source which will reduce the fuel consumption and result in less produced emissions. This paper will be specifically focusing the technologies of traditional sails, wind turbines, kites and Flettner rotors, using the methodology of literature reviews. The techniques show fuel saving with up to 8,3% for sails, 33% for wind turbines, 32% for kites and 24% for Flettner rotors. While cost being mostly linear with the amount of fuel saving achievable, the kite is considered to be the best investment in terms of good fuel savings with reasonable cost compared to other technologies.
Age of Sails, wind, renewable energy source, emissions, environmental and health impact, traditional sails, wind turbines, kites, Flettner rotors, Vindskip
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