The European Commission (EC) and Finnish Government’s funding agency for Innovation, Tekes, have provided €2.6m in funds to Norsepower for the conducting of further research to develop rotor sail solution technology.

Norsepower will use the funding to optimise its rotor sail solution technology to offer greater fuel savings and better return on investment (ROI).

The new fully automated models will be 30m in height and 5m in diameter, with a maximum main-engine equivalent power output of more than 4MW.

"Our rotor sails have the power to reinvent the existing market and make auxiliary wind propulsion a natural choice for merchant shipping."

Once developed, the new rotor sail models, which will feature a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, will be designed for use in tankers, bulk carriers, large ro-pax, and full size passenger vessels.

Additionally, vessels used in the northern hemisphere and Arctic regions will be able to use the new rotor models.

Currently, vessels travelling in these areas have not been able to witness auxiliary wind propulsion, despite having favourable wind conditions.

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Norsepower CTO Jarkko Väinämö said: “Our rotor sails have the power to reinvent the existing market and make auxiliary wind propulsion a natural choice for merchant shipping.

“What is really exciting for us is the ability to leverage our existing knowledge and expertise to continue to offer an easy to use, hybrid propulsion solution that enables significant fuel savings and emissions reductions.”

The funding aims to support development and the inclusion of multi-functional features within the system.

Part of EC’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the funding will support manufacturing, assembling, land testing, fine tuning, and piloting of Norsepower’s medium-size rotor sail model.

The new models can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships with minimal investment.

Norsepower’s existing rotor sails are available as a full-service package that includes both delivery and maintenance of the hardware and software components.