K Line to trial kite sails

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

10 June 2019

Japanese operator K Line has announced that it is to trial a kite system on one of its bulk carriers and could be installing the system on as many as 50 further ships. The Seawing kite sail has been developed by AIRSEAS a former subsidiary of Airbus.

Seawing combines aeronautical know-how with maritime technology. A simple switch system installed on the bridge launches or recovers the kite which unfolds, operates and refolds autonomously.

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The system collects and analyses meteorological and oceanic data in real-time. Seawing adapts to this information in order to optimise its performance as well as to ensure maximum safety.

K Line has said In the installation of this system, it will carry out an intense assessment of Seawing’s performance for two years under the close cooperation of AIRSEAS, and believes that the system can greatly contribute to the reduction of the environmental load associated with the ship's operation. It says the bulk carrier can reduce emissions by more than 20%, equivalent to about 5,200 tonnes of CO2 annually.