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1987 CONVERSION - This cargo vessel started life as the Ashington, registered at London in 1979. Ten years later she was re-registered in the Isle of Man (1989). In 2004 she was renamed Fjord Pearl while registered in Nassau. Then again is 2007 a name change to JP Fox and registration at Bergen. Finally in 2008 she was registered in Panama and renamed Milano Star.
The Ashington was built as an unremarkable general purpose cargo ship that was registered in London and built by Clelands Shipbuilding Company Limited between 1978-79.
What sets this ship out from many a counterpart, is that in 1986 she was fitted with a Walker Wingsail system in an effort to combat rising oil prices. Unfortunately, there is limited information as to how well the conversion fared in operation. If anyone out there can help, we'd like to include and information you can share.
Before that in 1985, the subject of optimal route planning was high on the agenda with a conference in Manila to discuss power routing for sail assisted diesel vessels.
WALKER WINGSAIL OPERATING EXPERIENCE ON THE MV ASHINGTON
The sail-set installed has a thrust area of 101 sq m, and is constructed from steel, light alloys, and composite plastic materials. The system weighed approximately 8 tonnes. The wing-sail operates by trimming itself to the correct angle to the wind and by the computerized setting of the aerofoils to achieve the optimum thrust.
To avoid any additional workload on the crew a dedicated twin microprocessor system is employed; the main computer checks the relative wind speed and direction and determines the sail settings required, responding rapidly to any changes in relative speed and direction and constantly trimming the sail-set to maintain optimum forward thrust, while the second computer monitors the first and triggers an alarm in the event of failure.
It is estimated that the reduction in fuel consumption achievable in a ship fitted with the present design of wingsails over that of a conventional modern ship could be up to 30%.
WIND ASSISTED SHIPS - The Ashington cargo vessel from 1979 was fitted with a Walker Wingsail system in 1987 to reduce oil consumption. There has never been a large commercial vessel powered by wind turbines. The closest is the Anton Flettner Rotor.
DIESEL POWERED - The Ashington before being converted to take advantage of the wind.
1987: Fitted with a Walker Wingsail to reduce oil consumption
SUSTAINABLE CONTAINER SHIPS - This 50m concept vessel may be doubled and quadrupled without too much trouble. You'd need to up-scale by a factor of 8 to match the 400 meter ships that operate today to carry 960 standard containers. See our top ten list below. That is nowhere near the capacity of a heavy bunker fueled giant, but it is a formula for eventual 100% zero carbon transportation that is theoretically workable. We believe that such a system could eventually replace bunker fuels and eliminate the need for liquid fuels that may be potentially dangerous.
CARGO CONTENDERS A list of the top ten fossil fueled leaders that could benefit from solar and wind assistance. You may notice from the specification of these vessels that we are in the right ballpark for power to cargo ratio when comparing DWT to installed engine power:
ZERO CARBON RORO - This is a small roll-on roll-off ferry designed to carry 12 large vans, with passenger rooms below decks. She is a zero carbon design featuring twin wind generators that also add to thrust directly from the wind (like sails) and a full deck of solar panels that track the sun - including a battery store. The age of zero carbon shipping is dawning, with designs like this leading the way. Design Copyright © December 6 2019.
The concept of using wind and solar power together on ships is
no longer science fiction, nor is it decades away. There are a number of
interesting concepts under development. In our view the first practical
application of combined wind and solar power was with Solar
Sailor, where sails were also solar panels that could be aimed. Before
this, in the 1980's several Japanese ships were fitted with rigid sails with the aim of reducing fuel
consumption, driven largely by the oil crisis in the 1970's which resulted in oil
shortages and the price of oil soaring.
When the crisis passed and oil prices fell again, the viability of rigid sails in terms of cost was undermined.
A - Z SAIL AND SOLAR ASSISTED BOATS & SHIPS
LINKS & REFERENCES
TRANSFERABLE TECHNOLOGY - The design of the Climate Change Challenger might be adapted to Cargo, Container, Cruise and Ferry designs, without needing to radically alter port facilities. The designs above are not representative of adaptations of the concept, but serve to illustrate the thinking of other design houses.
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