Could large diesel cargo ships replace environmentally friendly alternatives? Swedish shipbuilders plan to launch a 200-meter cargo sailboat in 2024.
We asked two experts to comment.
Prof. Peter Vidmar, Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport:
»The exploitation of wind energy to power ships has been beneficial in the maritime sector since humanity sailed the seas. Above all, technology has changed and the knowledge of how to make better use of wind energy has been upgraded, so that it will be possible to sail even with large cargo ships. In addition to the introduction of new shapes, sails, hull shapes, the new cargo ships will introduce a new concept of waterways, so-called weather routeing, where ships will look for economical wind routes.«
Andrej Justin, JustinYachtDesign:
»In many fields, new engineering and production technology and new materials, can make vintage systems and principles, we granted as obsolete, so efficient and easy to use, to be again economically feasible and, in this case, also ecologically advantageous. This vessel is taking advantage of the wing sail efficiency (up to 70% more efficient than standard soft sails) and the new computer controlled wing management systems, that automatically adjust the wing size and orientation to the wind conditions in terms of performance and safety. This type of vessels can not efficiently replace standard (electric or diesel powered) vessels on all the commercial routes, at the time the implementation will probably be limited to the so called trade wind routes (routes with favorable winds) and to time resistant cargo (like cars and not bananas). Some years ago we actually used a very similar platform for the MicroTransat preliminary concept.«