Viking Line’s Viking Grace will start deploying wind power this week after being equipped with a rotor sail – and the ferry operator’s newbuild will also use wind power.
Viking Line said LNG dual-fuelled Viking Grace is the first passenger ship in the world equipped with a rotor sail for using wind power. Developed by the Finnish company Norsepower, the Rotor Sail Solution will cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions by up to 900 tonnes annually.
Viking Line will operate Viking Grace on wind-assisted voyages between Turku and Stockholm from 12 April 2018.
The cylindrical rotor sail installed on Viking Grace is 24 m in height and 4 m in diameter and uses the Magnus effect for propulsion. Viking Line explained “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 this pressure difference will drive the vessel forward. The rotor sail operation is automated and the system will shut down in response to any disadvantageous changes in the direction or force of the wind.”
“This is a great day for us. As an Åland shipping company, we rely on the sea for our livelihood so it’s of prime importance for us to promote the well-being of the marine sea. We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical rotor sail solution that will reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution”, said Viking Line chief executive Jan Hanses.
Viking Line will also use wind propulsion in the company’s new vessel, which is due to be operational in 2020. Built in China, the passenger ship will be equipped with two mechanical rotor sails supplied by Norsepower, thus doubling the wind power potential.