Wind propulsion


Economical and political pressure is increasing on cargo ships. On one hand, fuel price has been increasing dramatically for the last ten years and on the other hand the environmental awareness about consequences of massive emissions of green house gases (GHG) in the atmosphere lead to consider alternative means of propulsion for cargo ships.

Using wind energy for cargo ships comes back to mind, nevertheless, candidate solutions have to match modern exploitation of ships :

  • limited size so that it doesn't interact with ship operations
  • automated exploitation so that it increases neither crew nor payroll
  • risk assessment in adverse weather conditions
  • limited investment, operational and maintenance costs allowing a clear projection for owners and operators

CRAIN, based on its knowledge of wind propulsion and naval architecture, has the expertise to assess performances of wind propulsion for cargo ships.

Wind propulsion concepts

CRAIN has decided to study the potential of various wind propulsion concepts that could realistically fitted on board cargo ships. Studies that have been carried out show the aerodynamic and energetic comparative benefits of theses systems and are available for people who would like to use CRAIN services.

So far, concepts that have been more particularly assessed are :

  • suction wind section
  • Flettner rotor
  • Dynamic kite

Wind propulsion using boundary layer suction