Enercon's E-Ship Uses "Sailing Rotors" To Cut Fuel Costs 30 Percent
Enercon is one of Europe's biggest wind turbine manufacturers, and these days, with turbine demand vastly outstripping supply (wind developers must line up two years in advance to order their turbines) Enercon is extremely busy. So the company is building its own turbine-delivery ship...with four huge Greek-looking pillars similar to the ones on this older schooner to assist the diesel engine and cut fuel use about 30 percent. While the 30 percent improvement is not earth-shaking, it's still a great step forward in an industry - transport shipping - that has far lagged behind in cleaning up its act, controlling CO2 and other polluting emissions.
Sailing rotors use wind to deliver wind turbinesInstead of a huge parasail like the Beluga Skysail, Enercon's E-Ship 1 currently being assembled in Germany will have four giant 27-meter-high, 4-meter-in-diameter cylindrical towers positioned two fore and two aft. These towers, called Flettner rotors, were named after a German inventor, Anton Flettner, who developed marine propulsion systems back in the '20s.High diesel prices help unearth Flettner rotorsDuring wind flow, the rotors spin to create lift force (10-14 times that of a trapezoid-shaped sail) through what is called the Magnus Effect. Enercon said it expected with the addition of the four rotors to achieve fuel savings of 30%–40% compared to a conventional diesel powered vessel of the same size. Enercon says the Flettner rotors were well tested back in the 1920s but never gained wide use because of the cheap price of fuel. Seems fitting that wind turbines will be delivered by a ship cutting its fuel use through wind technology. The E-Ship 1 is scheduled to launch by the end of 2008. Via ::EnerconRead about Beluga Skysail:Beluga Group Signs Contract For Sky Sail PowerGo Fly A Kite (And Sail A Ship)And another kind of windmill sailboat design:Windmill Sailboat: Sailing Against The WindAnd read about container ship pollution:Shipping's CO2 Record Not So Shipshape After All