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The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners for a new project which it hopes will help improve the fuel efficiency of large shipping vessels. They would need to set […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners for a new project which it hopes will help improve the fuel efficiency of large shipping vessels.

They would need to set out how their technology will deliver fuel savings of at least 10% and show how they would design, supply and demonstrate flettner rotor sail technology on a large ocean vessel.

Flettner rotors use a spinning cylinder to convert the force of the wind into thrust that helps propel the ship.

While they have been demonstrated on ships since the 1920s, the ETI claims its project will be the first demonstration on a large vessel, giving insight into real-world fuel savings and ease of operation.

Andrew Scott, Manager for the ETI’s Flettner Rotor Supply, Install and Commission Project said: “This is a project to design, develop and fit flettner rotor blades – effectively mechanical sails – which will then be demonstrated and tested at sea in real life conditions.

“Studies have shown that flettner blades could be beneficial in certain sea conditions around the world reducing fuel consumption in ships of between 7% and 15%. The technology, if proved successful, could also be retrofitted to existing shipping fleets and play a significant role in reducing the fuel costs, improving environmental impact.”