New Wind-assisted Container Ship Design Awarded 'Approval in Principle' by Bureau Veritas

3 mins read  Sealuminati TeamJune 2, 2021

The new wind-assisted container ship design named, "Trade Wings 2500" received class approval in principle by the reputed classification society Bureau Veritas, as verified by the mid-May press release.

The concept design, "Trade Wings 2500" has been developed by the collaborative efforts of a group of companies including VPLP Design, Alwena Shipping, and AYRO from France, and SADRI, a state-regulated Chinese shipbuilding company, and member of CSSC.

The design aims to build wind propulsion as the primary alternative to bunker fuels towards decarbonization of the shipping industry. The design proposes a hybrid propulsion model for a vessel of an overall length of 197 meters, breadth of 32 meters, the capacity of 2500 TEUs, and a deadweight of 32500 metric tonnes. This does limit the operability of the model to short sea shipping operations and feeder services but with a few upgrades, it can also be implemented to ships making transatlantic voyages.

'Trade Wings 2500' envisions implementation of a hybrid propulsion system including six retractable wing sails with an LNG power plant driven by a pure gas 4-stroke gensets. The design proposed LNG storage according to GTT'S Mark III containment system.

According to the developers of the design, "Trade Winds 2500' can lower carbon dioxide emissions by a whopping 35% for a 4000 nautical miles voyage in comparison to bunker fuel-driven conventional vessels. Looking into the breakdown of carbon emission reductions the report suggests that 53% of the reduction will be caused by the wing sails and the rest 57% by the LNG electronic pod propulsion system.

The model incorporates the ideas of the future of zero-carbon fuels and provides conversion and up-gradation options from LNG to ammonia or hydrogen. The model has been designed keeping in mind operational feasibility as well and has been applauded for it with the innovative idea of retractable wind sails and a sliding mechanism, occupying minimal deck space and enhancing the ease of carrying out cargo operations.

Mr. Alex Gregg-Smith, Senior Vice-President Bureau Veritas for North Asia expressed a certain belief in the model in his statement where he said, "Wind-assisted propulsion is a high-potential solution that can contribute to the long-term decarbonization of the marine industry. We have just released new wind propulsion system rules – and this innovative design, approved in principle by BV, including a sliding mechanism, demonstrates the feasibility of wind-assisted propulsion onboard container ships with deck space limitations".

The "Trade Wings 2500" concept design and its class approval in principle by Bureau veritas certainly provide an optimistic outlook to wind propulsion contributing majorly to the goal of decarbonization of maritime industry in the future and their role in acting as a transition between the fossils and zero-carbon fuels.