Wind Power Is Coming to Cargo Ships
Global shipping is a huge problem for the environment, but up til now no one has really tackled how to make the massive industry less harmful. A Finnish boat is trying to change that.
The Estraden is a Finnish cargo ship that makes regular journeys through the North Sea. Because it uses wind power in addition to burning oil, the Estraden is on the way to becoming the Prius of cargo ships.
The ship does this by harnessing the wind with Rotor Sails, spinning cylinders atop the ship. Invented by the Finnish company Norsepower, the Rotor Sails actually harness wind hitting the sails, which causes a difference in pressure between the front sail and rear sail. This is called the Magnus effect. The difference in pressure creates thrust that pushes the ship forward, just like how pressure different between the upper and lower sides of airplane wings allows for takeoff.
Currently, the shipping industry alone produces 2.2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The International Maritime Organization estimates that could increase by 250 percent by 2050 if nothing is done to stop it. By switching to the Rotor Sail hybrid method, the savings for the industry would total $7 billion a year, and it would reduce the emissions by the equivalent of 12 coal power plants. Check out the Vice News documentary on Norsepower to learn more.
Source: Vice News