Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sail Power

I recently read about the maiden voyage of a new freighter, the MS Beluga SkySails, departing out of Bremerhaven for Venezuela. I did a bit of Googling and found another story, dated last year, about the maiden voyage of the same ship set for December 2007, this time carrying windmills from Denmark to Houston. Does anyone know whether that voyage happened?

Not that it really matters. The story is that the Beluga features a large computer-controlled kite to augment the ships diesel engines to save up to 20% of the fuel it would otherwise use. The system is made by Skysails of Hamburg (http://www.skysails.info/index.php?L=1), and the kite is mounted in such a way that it’s tether can rotate around the bow of the ship to provide wind power when traveling in any direction other than direction against the wind.

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