OSLO: Norwegian ship designer Lade AS has unveiled a futuristic new design for cargo vessels, which use the ships’ hulls as a sail. Inspired by sailboats and aerospace, the ‘Vindskip,’ with its hull shaped like a symmetrical air foil, is designed to use the wind for propulsion. Lade AS says that the ship’s hull will generate aerodynamic lift, giving a pull in the ship’s direction.
The hybrid merchant vessel will also use a Liquid Natural Gas electric propulsion system, which takes the ship to the necessary speed to generate aerodynamic lift on its hull. Additionally, the Vindskip will employ a specialized computer program to analyze meteorological data and calculate the best sailing route based on available wind energy.
Lade AS estimates that the Vindskip design could generate fuel savings of 60% and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% compared to a traditional ship. The designer says that the design is particularly well suited to a number of passenger and container vessels.
The Alesund-based company has already been awarded two patents for the hull’s ability to generate aerodynamic lift, which it describes as its Wind Power System.
CNN reports that Wilhelmsen, one of Norway’s largest shipowners, already entered the Vindskip project on a technical basis. Lade AS manager Terje Lade is “quietly confident” that the first Vindskip will enter service by 2019, according to CNN.