Setting sail with gas from wasted food

July 2nd, 2012 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 2 (IANS) Engineers are designing the world’s first super efficient cargo vessels that will revolutionise shipping - operating without a single drop of fossil fuel.

The project combines proven technology, using the state of the art dyna-rig sail propulsion system with an off the shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by food waste derived liquid biomethane (liquid gas).

The Dyna-rig sail system has no rigging and comprises multiple relatively small sails that are operated electronically from the bridge. This allows them to be trimmed quickly to maximize wind power, and turned out of the wind in the event of sudden squalls. It is expected to provide around 60 percent of the vessel’s thrust.

The fundamental testing programme is being conducted at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics (WUMTIA).

The unit has provided innovative marine technology and industrial aerodynamics expertise for over 40 years to a world-wide customer base, according to a Southampton statement.

These vessels are being developed by B9 Shipping, part of the B9 Energy group of companies, which has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel validating the engineering and economic assumptions of the initial vessel design.

Diane Gilpin, director of B9 Shipping, says: “Having worked previously with WUMTIA, I believe this collaboration will enable a robust, commercially and technically viable solution to be ready for sale once the engineering is proven.”

The testing programme, which began in June, will undertake tow tank and wind tunnel research to identify a basic hull design and how it interacts with the dyna-rig system.

Diane says: “We are designing B9 Ships holistically as super-efficient new builds transferring technology from offshore yacht racing combined with the most advanced commercial naval architecture.”

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