ClassNK issues Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships

Maersk Pelican. Credit: HASENPUSCH. DIETMAR

Tokyo-headquartered classification society ClassNK has issued its Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships in light of what it says is the shipping industry’s increasing focus in using wind power for auxiliary propulsion.

According to a statement from the firm, the guidelines are intended to contribute to the “safe integrity and design” of wind propulsion technologies and ships that have them installed.

In addition to verifying structural strength, outlining methods for proving structural integrity, and utilising calculation methods for load amounts, the guidelines provide class notations for ships whose equipment is designed and installed in line with the guidelines.

“Once wind was a main source to propel ships and the technology utilising wind is emerging again to energise ships’ environmental performance,” said Hayato Suga, Corporate Officer and Director of the Plan Approval and Technical Solution Division at ClassNK.

“To promote the safety and soundness of designs applying wind-assisted propulsion systems, we will keep on updating our guidelines in line with further technology progress, as well as providing the certification on individual systems or concepts.”

Modern wind propulsion technologies tend to be based around two designs: kites that help to drag a ship through the water and systems that take advantage of the Magnus effect to generate lift force by rotating a cylindrical piece of equipment on the deck.

Finnish clean technology company Norsepower is one of the best-known manufacturers of so-called rotor sails. Last year, it fitted two of its cylindrical sails to Maersk Pelican, an LR2 class tanker, for sea trials.