Engineers at the Swedish company AlfaWall Oceanbird are planning mega-ships that will run entirely without fossil fuels. The innovative system for ship propulsion uses wing sails that are more like modern airplanes than traditional sailing ships. The revolutionary system provides an alternative to the era of fossil fuel-powered cargo ships in maritime transport. The complete Oceanbird concept includes hydrofoils, a specially designed hull and recommendations for speed and routes. Extensive simulations and model tests at sea and in water tanks have proven that it is possible to significantly reduce ship emissions by harnessing wind energy.
The first ship from the Oceanbird concept will be a car carrier capable of transporting about 7000 cars. At an average speed of 10 knots, it will take 12 days to cross the Atlantic instead of 8. The concept is based on a 200-meter-long and 40-meter-wide cargo ship. In order to be able to enter and leave ports – and as a safety measure and to be able to keep to schedule – the ship will also be equipped with an auxiliary engine powered by the best alternative available today.
You can read about how the Oceanbird wing sails work and how many liters of fuel and thus tons of CO2 can be saved each year, and when the first ship with full wind propulsion is scheduled to set sail, starting on page 120 in the current eMove360° magazine in german language. Download it here free of charge or order the print version in the shop.