NAPA, Norsepower and Sumitomo Heavy Industries have released a study on the potential fuel savings achievable with a combination of rotor sails and weather routing on a primary trade lane. According to the study, on the right route, the top-line number is a remarkable 28 percent, with enough potential to make a notable difference in the bunker fuel bill. Using results from the simulation, the study also explored how to predict vessel performance at the design stage, testing how the rotor sail-equipped ship could handle different sea and weather conditions. In the next phase, the partners will draw on real-world fleet data to search for strategies to improve the operational efficiency of ships fitted with rotor sails.
The study was conducted, examining six routes, including a North Atlantic passage between New York and Amsterdam, using a Sumitomo wind-assisted tanker design as the ship model. They drew on Norsepower’s real-world data, as well as NAPA’s digital-twin ship performance model. The simulation runs included voyages with and without the assistance of NAPA’s routing software.The combination of routing and rotor sails delivered a 28 percent efficiency improvement, and about 12 percent came from routing, and the balance from operating rotor sails.
In all six routes, the research found an average CO2 reduction of 19 percent when using both routing software and rotor sails, with routing contributing about 10 percent of the total. The study will help inform the shipowner’s commercial and operational decisions in the design stage. It is part of SHI’s plan to develop a new proof of concept and business case for wind-assisted ships with Norsepower rotor sails. The joint simulation project shows the potential for combining wind propulsion with voyage optimization for the planet positivism, and the findings can bring much-needed clarity to help the industry meet sustainability goals.
In conclusion, the study explores the potential fuel-saving by combining rotor sails and weather routing on a primary trade route, giving significant potential for reducing CO2 emissions. The combination of routing and rotor sails delivered a 28 percent efficiency improvement, with about 12 percent coming from routing. Over six routes, using both routing and rotor sails, the study found an average CO2 reduction of 19 percent. The research will inform the commercial and operational decisions in the design stage and the potential of combining wind propulsion with voyage optimization for the planet-positive impact.