Norsepower has successfully completed sea trials of its new wind propulsion technology for ships, Rotor Sail Solution, with Finnish Ro-Ro shipping company Bore.

Verified by NAPA and supported by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the sea trial confirmed fuel savings of 2.6% using a single, small Rotor Sail on a route in the North Sea.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is an upgraded version of the Flettner rotor; a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship.

"Wind technologies are commercially viable solutions that reduce fuel and carbon emissions in the industry."

The solution was installed on the 9,700dwt Ro-Ro carrier, MS Estraden, which is owned by Bore. The vessel operated between the Netherlands and the UK, cruising at speeds of 16k.

Norsepower CEO Tuomas Riski said: "The successful trials of our wind technology are a ground-breaking moment not only for Norsepower, and also the wider development of wind propulsion technology for shipping.

"The results suggest that when Norsepower’s technology is implemented at scale, it can produce up to 20% net savings in fuel costs with a payback period of less than four years at current fuel prices, confirming that wind technologies are commercially viable solutions that reduce fuel and carbon emissions in the industry."

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The companies believe that a full system on Estraden with two rotors has the potential to deliver 5% efficiency savings on an ongoing basis. Norsepower said it is expecting savings of 20% for vessels with multiple, large rotors travelling in favourable wind routes.

VTT Technical Research Centre has collected data more than a six-month period and it showed that both the Rotor Sail technology and automation system remained operational 99% of the time. It showed that rotor is capable of producing large amounts of thrust force that will result in considerable fuel savings.