Wind-powered Vessel May Reduce Emissions By 90 Per Cent

A Swedish consortium has unveiled an innovative sailing cargo vessel that could revolutionise maritime transport across the Atlantic Ocean.

Designboom reports that the Oceanbird, a massive ocean-going vessel, developed in close collaboration between Wallenius Marine, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and Swedish research institute SSPA, can carry up to 7,000 cars, and claims to be able to reduce shipping emissions by 90 per cent.

The concept aims to offer efficient and sustainable maritime cargo transportation with a load capacity of 32,000 tons and is powered by the wind. Oceanbird measures 200 metres long and 40 metres wide, reaching a top speed of 10 knots, and eliminates the use of fossil fuels.

The traditional sail system is replaced by a series of 80 metres tall vertical blades that emulated the performance of aircraft wings. “With a height above waterline around 105 meters, it may be the tallest ship in the world,” say the creators of Oceanbird on their official site.

The steel and composite material rigging can turn by 360 degrees to efficiently catch the wind, and the telescopic construction allows the rig to be lowered from 105 to 45 metres for if the vessel needs to pass under bridges, or if strong winds mean the vessel needs to reduce speed.

The Oceanbird will be able to cross the Atlantic in 12 days and to be able to get in and out of harbours and as a safety measure, it will also be equipped with an auxiliary engine. The wind transporter is said to consume less fossil fuel than conventional ships.

There have already been marine tests carried out earlier this year, with a scale model of Oceanbird, and the production-ready design should be ready to set sail by the end of 2021 and put into service by 2024.

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