A unique configuration of wind turbine that rotates on a horizontal transverse-axis to wind direction offers promise to sail a vessel directly into a headwind. The layout was originally intended to be installed atop tall buildings to quietly convert wind energy into electric power. There is scope to evaluate the Magnus/Flettner rotor for installation on maritime vessels.
Canadian physics Professor Dr. Brad Blackford set a precedent when he first sailed a small windmill powered boat directly into a headwind, competing with sail-powered small boats in a race across Port of Halifax. While 3-bladed horizontal-axis axial-flow wind turbines mounted atop are widely used to generate electric power at inland and coastal locations, there is a physical size limit to installing such technology on ships that roll and pitch in heavy seas, producing dynamic stresses that risk collapsing a tall windmill tower. Vertical-axis wind rotor assemblies are being built to withstand ship dynamics.
Tilting a vertical-axis wind rotor through 90-degrees produces the transverse horizontal-axis rotor, a concept pioneered by Broadstar wind turbines and providing the precedent to operate a boundary-layer Magnus or Flettner rotor installed on a transverse horizontal axis above a ship deck. The main purpose of such an installation would be to produce propulsion while sailing directly into a headwind, such as would occur on a westbound voyage across either the North Pacific Ocean or North Atlantic Ocean. Such operation would restrict such wind-assisted ships to ports that offer very generous overhead clearance, or air draft.
Winds in several locations internationally blow essentially in one direction over areas of ocean, with very little variation in wind direction. Such is the case for both the Southeast trade winds and Northeast trade winds in both the mid-Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. While there is some directional variation in the Westerlies that occur around the Antarctic region, the north Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, these winds blow in the same generation direction. Such wind directions allow for possible application of a fixed wind turbine mounted aboard each ship that sails directly into headwinds in these regions.
While sailing in one direction, headwind energy could reduce ship fuel consumption, with potential to occasionally provide all of the ship’s propulsion energy requirements. For sailing with the wind, airborne kite sails offer a potentially viable method of reducing ship fuel consumption.
The installation of a transverse-axis Flettner Rotor could be achieved by using triangular support structures installed on either side of the ship deck and even at mid-deck, at the stern area and designed to withstand extreme wind conditions. A wind-assisted container ship could combine a low-level forward bridge located near the bow with a high-level transverse-axis wind rotor placed above the stern, with turbine location allowing cranes easy access to containers. Sailing the ship at 20-degrees angle from headwind direction would, using cosine from trigonometry, allow for 93.9% of headwind energy to rotate the turbine.
Even at 30-degrees to headwind direction, 86.6% of wind energy could still activate the rotor due to the boundary layer effect produced by the spinning rotor. That effect could actually “steer” prevailing incoming wind energy to a more perpendicular angle ahead of the rotor. Planetary reduction gearing could allow a fast spinning rotor to drive a power transfer mechanism involving upper and lower crankshafts linked by tension rods enclosed inside a casing, driving electrical generators installed on the ship deck. Rotor physical location allows for a large-diameter transverse-axis rotor and twin rotors in close proximity.
Rotor Support Structure:
There is scope for a very rugged support structure to carry a transverse-axis rotor placed well above a ship’s deck. Such a structure could be built to withstand the dynamic stress loads caused by ship roll and pitch movements. Triangular members on either side of the deck as well as at the midpoint area could carry the weight of twin coaxial rotors, with diagonal cross-bracing absorbing dynamic stresses caused by ship roll. The support structure would occupy space outside of rotor width and well below each rotor’s transverse working surface.
There is scope for the support structure to carry a transversely mounted air deflector mounted ahead and below the rotors, deflecting lower elevation headwind energy upward toward the rotors. It would reduce the amount of air that would flow below the rotor while increasing wind velocity over the boundary layer working surface of each rotor. It would also impose a refraction effect on approaching diagonal wind, partially steering the wind stream toward the rotors. A downstream airfoil would assist in maintaining fast wind speed over each rotor’s highest point.
Vessels carrying high-mounted transverse-axis wind rotors cannot sail under bridges and would be restricted to sailing between ports that offer unrestricted overhead clearance. The stern mounted transverse rotor would be suitable wind-assisted propulsion for container ships built with a forward bridge placed behind an X-bow. Such container ships could sail across the North Pacific Ocean, between some Asian and South American ports, also on the trans-North Atlantic service between selected ports. Suitable North American ports would include Ports of Virginia, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Quebec City and Halifax south terminal where overhead rail container transfer could operate.
Suitable European and Mediterranean ports would include Algeciras, Tangier, Hamburg (Euro-gate) and Barcelona. Generous overhead clearance is available at Asian ports such as Tanjung Pelepas, Pasir Panjang (Singapore), Shenzhen and Yantian (near Hong Kong).
Increasing eco-tourism could attract future clientele to travel aboard carbon-free tourist vessels. While 3-bladed turbines produce a sound wave every time a blade passes the tower, vertical-axis and transverse-axis Flettner rotors remain silent, enhancing their desirability on passenger vessels. While vertical-axis rotors would occupy deck space, a stern mounted transverse-axis rotor would leave most of the deck space to passengers and passenger services. A passenger vessel assisted by a transverse-axis wind rotor would likely be built using catamaran twin hull configuration, reducing roll in heavy seas and reducing roll-induced stresses imposed on the rotor support structure.
Increasing the physical size of the wind rotor increases its power output. While the largest stationary wind towers carry 3-bladed turbines rated at 12,000MW, it is unlikely that such technology would be developed for mobile operation generating power for ship propulsion. There may however be scope to develop a large-scale, transverse-axis wind rotor to be carried on a wide-base twin-hull or even triple hull catamaran to be coupled to the stern of a ship, with levers attached to the ship’s hull to reduce catamaran pitching. Maximum possible rotor diameter is presently unknown.
The transverse-axis wind time is merely an adaptation of the existing vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) tilted 90-degrees and installed on building roof edges. It is a well proven technology. Operating the wind rotor in transverse-axis mode offers the possibility of building a very rugged and robust support structure capable of carrying the turbine above the stern in very severe wind conditions. Ships equipped with such rotor turbines would sail into trade winds that incur minimal variation in direction, using the wind rotor to generate energy that would reduce ship fuel oil consumption.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]