Norsepower to develop world's largest rotor sail

Estradenwithtworotorsailsfromport Rs Bright

(HELSINKI) — Norsepower Oy Ltd., a leading provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, has been selected to receive €2.6 million in funding to further its research and development of the Norsepower rotor sail technology. The new models of the technology will include the world’s largest Flettner rotor.

Awarded by both the European Commission and the Finnish government’s funding agency for Innovation, Tekes, the funding will be used by Norsepower to optimize its rotor sail solution to deliver greater fuel savings and enhanced ROI. The new rotor sail models will be ideally suited for tankers, bulk carriers, large ro-pax, and full size passenger vessels where smaller rotor sails would be inefficient for achieving the most impressive fuel savings. The new models will be designed to be suitable for ships voyaging globally, including the Northern Hemisphere and Arctic regions that have not yet seen auxiliary wind propulsion despite having favorable wind conditions. The record-breaking rotor sail model is planned to be 30 meters in height and 5 meters in diameter, with a maximum main-engine equivalent power output of more than 4 megawatts.

Funding from Tekes will also support the development and inclusion of multi-functional features within the system that may have otherwise not been possible, and will accelerate the new rotor sails’ time to market. Additionally, the European Commission funding, which Norsepower has been selected to receive from the EU under its Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation, will support manufacturing, assembling, land testing, fine tuning, and piloting of Norsepower’s medium-size rotor sail model.

The Norsepower rotor sail, which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships without off-hire costs, is a modern version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to generate forward thrust. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically.

To date, independent data analysis indicates that up to 25 percent fuel savings per year can be achieved on routes with favorable wind flows, sufficient-sized rotor sails, and appropriate service speed. The technology has proven commercial applicability, with two small units of Norsepower’s rotor sails installed on board Bore’s M/S Estraden, a 9,700-DWT ro-ro carrier. Measured and independently verified by NAPA, the leading maritime data analysis, software and services provider, the rotor sail solution delivered fuel consumption reductions of 6.1 percent for Estraden.

For more information, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff