At least that is what the media releases are saying. Late last month, the Australian Solar Sailor company announced they’d signed a deal with China's biggest shipping line, COSCO, to fit some of their jumbo jet sized solar-powered sails to a tanker and bulk carrier.
The 30 metre long sails, festooned in photovoltaic panels are expected to catch enough wind to reduce fuel costs by between 20% and 40%, whilst those PV cells will provide the ships with 5% of their electricity. A computer automatically angles the sails for maximum wind and solar efficiency, and if all goes to plan the sails will have recovered their initial cost within four years.
We mentioned this solar sail technology years ago when it was suggested that drought stricken regions would require massive water tankers bringing them water under such sails.
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