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Newbuild bulk carrier to be equipped with 5 Norsepower tiltable rotor sails

Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, announced its first newbuild order—the installation of a record five tilting Rotor Sails (earlier post) on board a large bulk carrier.

The agreement marks the first installation of Norsepower’s innovative Rotor Sails on a bulk carrier, demonstrating the adaptability of the technology to reduce fuel consumption, fuel costs and reduce emissions across a variety of vessel types.


The Maersk Pelican tanker was equipped with two 30x5 Rotor Sails in 2018. Independent measurements conducted by Lloyd’s Register confirmed savings of 8.2% during the first year of operation. Two Rotor Sails 30x5 are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%.

Preparations are currently taking place with the installation onboard, the owner of which preferring to remain anonymous at this stage, scheduled for 2021.

The announcement follows soon after an agreement between Ro-Ro operator SEA-CARGO and Norsepower for the first the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, showcasing the innovative design adaptations that can be made for individual vessel requirements. (Earlier post.)

With 2030 and 2050 IMO GHG emission targets driving the shipping industry to decarbonize, the new announcement again reflects the Rotor Sails’ adaptability as a means of greatly reducing GHG and other emissions on new-builds as well as retrofits. It also underlines the technology’s ability to cut emissions on any vessel type, and with any fuel.

Harnessing wind to generate thrust and reduce both fuel consumption and emissions has been demonstrated as a viable and current option, with achievable, and typical, savings of 5 – 20%, depending on the wind conditions and vessel route. Recent case studies demonstrate savings of up to 25%.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution—which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships—is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship.


The Rotor Sail technology is based on the Magnus effect. When wind meets the spinning Rotor Sail, the air flow accelerates on one side of the Rotor Sail and decelerates on the opposite side of the Rotor Sail. The change in the speed of air flow results in a pressure difference, which creates a lift force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction. The same principle applies to all rotating spheres and cylinders. This can also be observed for example in golf, tennis, or football, where spinning balls curve in flight.

The optimal number and size of Norsepower Rotor Sails are based on the size, speed, and operating profile of the target vessel. Norsepower Rotor Sails are available in five sizes with Rotor Sail heights of 18, 24, 28, 30 or 35 meters. The essential parts of the Rotor Sail Solution are:

  • Norsepower Rotor Sails, which deliver the forward thrust;

  • A control panel, which gives the captain full control of the operation and performance of the Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution;

  • A fully automatic control system, which optimizes the forward thrust of the Rotor Sails; and

  • A low-voltage electrical power supply to each Rotor Sail.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail is the first third-party verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the Rotor Sails start automatically. This will be the sixth installation of the Norsepower Rotor Sails and the first on a bulk carrier.

Since its establishment in 2012, Norsepower has generated more than €20 million of funding and has now installed Rotor Sails onboard four vessels, including the latest installation on the Scandlines M/V Copenhagen with a fifth installation due in Q4 2020 for Sea-Cargo.

Each installation has made significant reductions to fuel costs and emissions, confirmed by independent verifiers such as ABB, NAPA and Lloyd’s Register. Other shipowners, charterers, and shipyards have been convinced of Rotor Sail technology’s benefits and are taking steps to study the technical and economic feasibility of wind propulsion on their fleet based on these positive results.


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