Wind propulsion for Dry Bulk Carriers

26th January 2021

Oldendorff Carriers (OC) has signed a Joint Development Project (JDP) with Anemoi Marine Technologies (Anemoi), Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a wind-assisted propulsion solution for Dry Bulk Carriers. The project, scheduled for completion in 2022, breaks down significant barriers for the installation of rotor sails technology and paves the path for commercial-ready applications across the industry in the short-term.

Torsten Barenthin, Director Innovation of Oldendorff Carriers stated: “This JDP, together with other ongoing projects in our company, is a testament to our commitment to the development and application of green technologies across our fleet. By partnering with the ship designer (SDARI), manufacturer (Anemoi) and Classification Society (LR), OC seeks to achieve a comprehensive functional application of wind technology that returns environmental and commercial benefits throughout our vessels’ entire life cycle”.

The adoption of this fuel saving technology consists of installing Anemoi’s patented vertical rotors on deck. These mechanical sails, when driven to rotate, harness the power of the wind to provide additional thrust to vessels, reducing fuel consumption and lowering carbon emissions. In order to ensure the rotors do not interefere with cargo operations and air draft limitations, the sails are mounted with a folding system that enables them to be lowered from vertical into a horizontal position on deck (See how the system works).

By fitting vertical rotors on a Newcastlemax bulk carrier of 207,000 tdw, wind propulsion can be tested on long haul voyages. Once the design and study phases have been concluded, the results obtained will determine whether we proceed with the installation of the wind rotor technology aboard one of our vessels.

“We are honoured to see Oldendorff Carriers, an industry leader, acknowledge Anemoi Rotor Sails as a key solution to reducing energy consumption and harmful emissions in the bulk sector. Partnering in this project further demonstrates Oldendorff Carriers’ commitment to sustainable shipping and their support of emerging wind propulsion technology as a route to future environmental compliance and decarbonisation“ said Nick Contopoulos, Chief Operating Officer, Anemoi Marine Technologies.

OC approaches decarbonisation from a holistic perspective. As shipowner and operator, our efforts to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions are not only benefiting the company but also the entire value chain. By adding renewable energy to our array of sustainable shipping projects, we continue adding value to the entire spectrum of stakeholders by reducing the overall environmental impact of our operations.

Mark Darley, LR Marine & Offshore Chief Operating Officer, said: “As the need to decarbonise the shipping industry becomes more pressing, this JDP with leaders in maritime marks an important milestone on the journey and further demonstrates LR’s commitment to accelerating this transition. The partners’ collective action and joint collaboration will see the development of solutions that will meet current and future environmental targets.”

Wang Gang Yi, Chief Engineer of SDARI commented: “It is our great honor to provide green solution designs to Oldendorff Carriers, a leading shipping company. We believe the JDP shows the maritime community OC' is serious about its efforts to reduce GHG emissions and make shipping sustainable and competitive. We think that using wind assistance for enhancing propulsion is a viable way of helping to decarbonise the industry.”

The rotor sails technology is a complementary solution suitable for combination with other green developments. Last year OC also signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits & Atoms to investigate disruptive improvements in ship design and propulsion to achieve the IMO 2030/50 goals.