Even with the current restrictions and challenges that face the shipping industry with the pandemic and the latest low oil prices, wind-assisted propulsion solutions are still making headway as the decarbonisation drive in the industry accelerates and companies are looking for technology solutions that are market ready and have the potential to deliver substantial savings today. Netherlands-based eConowind and Tharsis announced their collaboration today with eConowind contracted to install two of their wind-assist 3 x 9m TwinFoil units on their 88m, 2,364 dwt diesel-electric general cargo vessel, MV Tharsis.
“We always try to use as little as fuel as possible on our weekly voyage from Duisburg to the East coast of the UK. Using currents and tides and optimizing our schedule. Adding wind-assisted propulsion will further reduce our fuel consumption. Especially interesting is to see how much the tipping point of starting a second generator will shift.” states Jan Albert Bosma, co-owner of Tharsis Sea-River Shipping
The eConowind-units are both integrated in a specially designed aluminum Flatrack from which the folding TwinFoil’s can be deployed. The TwinFoil is a further innovation for eConowind next to their previously designed VentiFoils. The TwinFoil is a wing with a flap principle similar to those used by aircraft during landing and take-off. Setting the wings optimally relative to the wind will be done by a small third steering-wing, which is fast and reliable.
The Netherlands based NG shipyard will install the system and bring their experience of fabricating aluminum constructions in order to stay under the 2500 kg total weight as needed for the operations on the vessel. Albert Keizer, CEO of NG-shipyard states:
“We are very happy to bring our experience in the specific challenges in this project. We specialize in light-weight but durable constructions at sea and focus on high performance ships with sustainable propulsion. This project combines all of that. We can offer the system at reduced costs with the help of the SDS-program of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.
Jan Albert Bosma adds, “We look forward to evaluating the wings and do research together in the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project, part of the EU Interreg North Sea region program.“
The WASP (Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion) project is funded by the Interreg North Sea Europe program, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and brings together universities and wind-assist technology providers with ship owners to install, research, trial and validate the operational performance of a selection of wind propulsion solutions.
We are delighted to add Tharsis to our customer base and with both river and North Sea routing with varying winds we expect a lot from the TwinFoil. Of particular interest is the combination of this self-adjusting technology in combination with a modern diesel-electric drive, which in theory should give optimal results.” Comments Frank Nieuwenhuis, CEO of eConowind.
The installation of the system will be the last of five installations under the WASP project and it is scheduled for February 2021.