Estimates published in 2015 1 say that global shipping was responsible for around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 between 2007 and 2012 – or 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Although per ton-mile shipping is a clean mode of transport, the continuing growth of global seaborne trade will inevitably result in more carbon emissions.
The International Maritime Organization continues to impose stricter regulation on the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of C02 emissions. Similarly, the 2020 Sulphur Cap will impose global fuel sulphur limit of 0.5%. The industry is searching for more efficient and cost-effective solutions. Wind assisted ship propulsion is part of the answer.
The Royal Institution of Naval Architects 2 say that the use of a Flettner rotor during favourable wind conditions can save a ship up to 10% of its annual fuel consumption. This is good for the environment, but it is also good for a vessel operator’s bottom line.
Similarly, estimates published in 2015 3, demonstrate how Flettner rotors can achieve significant power savings. A large bulk carrier (90 000DWT, for example), could potentially save an average of 17% power during a single voyage.
Flettner rotors are also useful in reducing total ship resistance across a range of passage speeds. But they are particularly effective during the current trend for slow steaming.
- 1 (UCL CE Delft, et al., 2015),
- 2 http://www.bmtdsl.co.uk/media/5045823/BMTDSL%20The%20Use%20Of%20Flettner%20Rotors%20In%20Efficient%20Ship%20Design%20Conference%20paper%20%28RINA%202014%29.pdf
- 3 (UCL CE Delft, et al., 2015)