Skysails energy savings

Rising oil prices and the prospect of emission-coupled taxes are pressing maritime communities to reduce energy consumption and the costs and emissions involved. In the research project presented here, the auxiliary wind energy drive system "SkySails", a towing kite with automatic control, was investigated with regard to its potential to reduce fuel consumption and ship generated emissions through the use of wind energy. During a period of one year, the SkySails-System was tested on a research ship (MS "Beaufort"). Based on measurements, a mathematical model for the kite power was developed. The energy savings and emission reduction potentials for several mercantile ship types using the SKS-System on 15 international routes are calculated: For a 600 m(2) kite fitted to a typical multipurpose freighter travelling at 15knots on e.g. the north Atlantic route (with high wind potential), a saving of energy from 5% (East-West- direction) to 21% (West-East-direction) can be expected in average. A reduction of ship speed to 13 knots increases these values by a further 10% e.g. 36%.