Marine engineering specialist Becker Marine Systems, known for its energy saving devices such as the Mewis duct and its rudder systems, is now taking another step forward – wind operated vessels.
Becker is developing a highly efficient wing sail, which will generate significant forward thrust on commercial vessels. The operational profile of the vessel will have to be adapted and weather routing is an important part of it, but for long range operation, using wind as a "fuel" source will significantly reduce a vessel's fuel consumption.
The key partner for this development is Wallenius Marine. The latest design of a modern car carrier contains four large wing sails of more than 1,000 m2 in area each. In optimal conditions it will be able to propel the vessel up to 10 knots without engine support.
Unlike most other approaches, Becker's wing sail will consist of two vertical sections, forming an aerodynamic foil. It is a great advantage that the wing sails can be operated at a small angle towards the apparent wind, enabling the vessel to use the wing sails on most courses. In order to pass under bridges, provide safe operation in port and "reef" the system in harsh conditions, Becker has developed a special lay-down device for the new technology.