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LR: Rotor sail dream becomes a reality

02 May 2018

Viking Line has installed a rotor sail on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled Viking Grace, making it the first passenger ship in the world equipped with a rotor sail for the utilisation of wind power.

“A few years ago LR developed an animation called ‘The Ferry – a story of innovation’, which at one point shows a ferry with wind rotors and kite sails sailing across the screen at breakneck speed,” said LR’s Jane Jenkins, Lead Specialist, Passenger Ship Support Centre.

“At the time rotor sail technology was clear but not immediately contemplated in the context of a ferry. It is wonderful to see what seemed like an idea at the time become a reality.

“We are immensely proud to have been part of the journey.”

Lloyd’s Register approved the structure and the risk-assessment related to the installation of the sail in line with its Guidance Notes for Flettner Rotor Approval.

Approvals were conducted to ensure that the Flettner rotor would not adversely affect the safe operation of the ship or the safety of the crew.       

The rotor sail, developed by Finnish company Norsepower Oy Ltd, uses the Magnus effect for propulsion. As the rotor is spinning, the passing air will flow with a lower pressure on one side than the opposite side. The propulsion force created by the pressure difference drives the vessel forward.

It is expected to cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions (by up to 900 tonnes CO2 annually). 

The Viking Grace is already operating on wind assisted voyages between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Moving forward, Viking Line says it plans to use wind propulsion in the company’s new vessel, due to be operational in 2020. Built in China, the passenger ship will be equipped with two mechanical rotor sails supplied by Norsepower, doubling the wind power potential.

Photo credit: Norsepower Oy Ltd
Published: 2 May, 2018


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