Viking Line installs rotor sail on passenger ship

Viking Grace Rotor Installation.037926

The following is text of a news release from Viking Line:

(ALAND, Finland) — Viking Line has started a collaboration with the winds of the Baltic Sea, making M/S Viking Grace the first passenger ship in the world equipped with a rotor sail for the utilization of wind power. Developed by the Finnish company Norsepower Oy Ltd., the rotor sail will cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Viking Line will operate Viking Grace on wind-assisted voyages between Turku, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden, from April 12.

The cylindrical rotor sail installed on Viking Grace is 78 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter, and it uses the Magnus effect for propulsion. As the rotor is spinning, the passing air will flow with a lower pressure on one side than the opposite side. The propulsion force created by this pressure difference will drive the vessel forward. The rotor sail operation is automated and the system will shut down in response to any disadvantageous changes in the direction or force of the wind. The rotor sail will reduce the vessel’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 900 tonnes per year, depending on the wind conditions.

Operational since 2013, Viking Grace is among the most ecological passenger ships in the world. It is fueled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has very low emissions and noise levels. Thanks to the new rotor sail, it will be even more environmentally safe when passing through the archipelago of Turku.

“This is a great day for us. As an Aland shipping company, we rely on the sea for our livelihood, so it’s of prime importance for us to promote the well-being of the marine sea. We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical rotor sail solution that will reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution," said Jan Hanses, CEO of Viking Line.

“For Norsepower, it’s an honor to be able to make the M/S Viking Grace even more environmentally friendly by means of our novel rotor sail technology. The last traditional windjammers in the world were owned and operated by shipping companies based in Aland, so it’s fitting that Aland-based Viking Line should be a forerunner in launching modern auxiliary sail technology," said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower.

In addition to the Norsepower rotor sail solution installed on Viking Grace, Viking Line will utilize wind propulsion in the company’s new vessel, which is due to be operational in 2020. Built in China, the passenger ship will be equipped with two mechanical rotor sails supplied by Norsepower, thus doubling the wind power potential.

By Professional Mariner Staff