To make ships more eco-efficient, engineers have been working with alternative fuels.
A Norwegian engineer is currently pursuing a new approach: With Vindskip, he has designed a cargo ship that is powered by wind and gas. Software developed by Fraunhofer researchers will ensure an optimum use of the available wind energy at any time.
International shipping is transporting 90 percent of all goods on earth. Running on heavy fuel oil freighters contribute to pollution. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) wants to reduce the environmental impact of ocean liners.
One of the measures: Starting from 2020, ships will only be allowed to use fuel containing maximum 0.1 percent sulfur in their fuel in certain areas.
However, the higher-quality fuel with less sulfur is more expensive than the heavy fuel oil which is currently used. Shipping companies are thus facing a major challenge in reducing their fuel costs while complying with the emission guidelines.
A new way of reducing fuel consumption, emissions and bunker expenses is being pursued by the Norwegian engineer Terje Lade, managing director of the company Lade AS: With Vindskip he has designed a type of ship that does not use heavy fuel oil but utilizes wind for propulsion.