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View Full Version : OT: Update on the ship towing kite project



Evan
02-06-2008, 11:00 AM
The guys that developed the ship towing parasail should be rolling in the cash pretty soon.



BERLIN (Reuters) - The world's first commercial ship powered in part by a giant kite is recording fuel savings of between 10 and 15 percent midway into its maiden voyage across the Atlantic, the shipping company told Reuters on Friday.
The 10,000-tonne 'MS Beluga SkySails' left Germany on January 22 for Venezuela and its computer-guided kite system was only fully deployed after it reached the trade winds near the Azores, said Verena Frank, Beluga Shipping's SkySails project manager.
The 10 to 15 percent reduction in bunker consumption, which amounts to $1,000 to $1,500 per day savings, is in line with projections made by the shipping company and SkySails.
The SkySail system, which is also designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, had never before been used on a ship as large.
"Everything has worked out as we had planned," Frank told Reuters. "There's still a lot of testing, adjusting and experimenting taking place. The aim is to have the kite operational for about 50 percent of the entire first journey."
Once the bugs have been ironed out and the crew's expertise with the 500,000-euro ($745,000) high-tech system improves, fuel savings are projected to be up to 20 percent.



I wonder how fast it can tow a ship with a dead engine?

pcarpenter
02-06-2008, 11:54 AM
I wonder what portion of trans-oceanic cargo ships make their voyage in smooth seas? I can't imagine that you'd want that thing up there if a storm blows up. I guess a related question is "just how easy does that thing deploy and re-deploy?"

Paul

JCHannum
02-06-2008, 12:09 PM
While the initial savings look good at $1000-$2000/day, what is the actual number of days/year of the ship's operation that this level of savings can be achieved?

Once all the calculations are done, I would suspect that payback will approach 4-5 years which is not a stellar ROI.

Evan
02-06-2008, 12:20 PM
ROI isn't the entire point, as they have pointed out. IT"S GREEN. That alone will make it worth investing in as it will help satisfy all sorts of people including the investment funds that have been springing up that specialize only in "green" investments.

topct
02-06-2008, 12:35 PM
I can only imagine how many ship captains are cringing at the thought of such a thing.

And the poor deck hands having enough to deal with keeping things battened down on a sea tossed ship, and having to deal with some bean counters desire to save a few bucks.

Your Old Dog
02-06-2008, 12:42 PM
must be quite a view for the crew to look at all day. That would drive me nuts. Guess you want to know whats going on you have your radar and CNN :D

LastOldDog
02-06-2008, 12:57 PM
Seems what should be wide spread interest and a celebration of this announcement, the actual sea trials of a new technological application is receiving so much skepticism and cynicism. Bummer Come on gang, where is your adventurous spirit ? Your entrepreneurial drive? Your curiosity in something new?

JCHannum
02-06-2008, 01:14 PM
Green schmeen, the ship owners are not interested in algore or penguins. They operate as any business, on profit and loss. If there is no significant economic benefit, it will not see widespread use.

Deja Vu
02-06-2008, 02:09 PM
Seems what should be wide spread interest and a celebration of this announcement, the actual sea trials of a new technological application is receiving so much skepticism and cynicism. Bummer Come on gang, where is your adventurous spirit ? Your entrepreneurial drive? Your curiosity in something new?

..right! This endeavor could spawn....who knows?



I'm seeing too many gripes about nonsense......
That poor captain... has to work a little more...
Those poor crews... my god.. having to look at that kite all day...

...a little sarcasm

kendall
02-06-2008, 02:23 PM
I think it's a good idea, the thing will likely be automated/computerized, so it won't have a big impact of operations while in use. Extra work will primarily be limited to deployment and stowage.

besides, even if those big ships only saved 1% in fuel a year, that's still a LOT of fuel.

Ken.

mlucek
02-06-2008, 02:37 PM
The guys that developed the ship towing parasail should be rolling in the cash pretty soon. Uhhhhmmm, didn't there used to be a technology in almost 100% use that was very green, called SAILS ?? :p

John Stevenson
02-06-2008, 02:39 PM
I bet it's good at night with one of those projectors on the deck aimed at it. :D

Evan
02-06-2008, 03:27 PM
Green schmeen, the ship owners are not interested in algore or penguins. They operate as any business, on profit and loss. If there is no significant economic benefit, it will not see widespread use.

Oh, but being green is ALL about money these days. Al Gore isn't interested in penguins either. Being green will mean tax incentives from government, cheaper borrowing, more customers and MORE CASH. And, this form of "greeness" is easy to understand by even the dumbest board member or politician. It's just an updated sail.

Speaking of sails, this has the advantage of being easily retrofitted and totally stowable. Also, in the event of dire circumstances it can simply be cut away. It also fit under low bridges in harbors when stowed.

wierdscience
02-06-2008, 03:34 PM
Uh,ya,cut away and over the side right into the screws:D


I don't care which form of "green" it is,either will cost you and I more money and acomplish nothing.

thistle
02-06-2008, 03:53 PM
All seems like a lot of work to reinvent a square sail.