Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kite Surfing Cargo Ships

I found this story on the internet and it appears that the company has tested their system and it works. There is some kind of automated mechanical system that keeps the kite flying but it looks like it still has some issues (see video below) because the kite weaves around quite a bit.

A German company is introducing sails it says may help propel ships across the sea cheaper and faster than modern engines. SkySails' system consists of an enormous towing kite and navigation software that can map the best route between two points for maximum wind efficiency. In development for more than four years, the system costs from roughly $380,000 to $3.2 million, depending on the size of the ship it's pulling. SkySails claims it will save one third of fuel costs. It recently signed its first contract with Beluga Shipping of Bremen, Germany, for one kite, but says it expects to sell 300 more within five years. Beluga says that the giant kite will help the company meet environmental regulations as well as cut fuel costs.

The sail systems are meant as a retrofit technology that can work with any cargo ship as well as yachts of more than 79 feet. Ships can use their engines to begin and end voyages and use sail power in lieu of engines for the middle portion. Use both, and you go even faster.


Here's an actual photo:
And a link to a video.

There are some interesting patent applications from SkySail on this technology if anyone is interested:
WO2006027195
WO2006027194
WO2005100150
WO2005100149
WO2005100147

3 comments:

Adrift At Sea said...

Damn, that's a big kite.

Tillerman said...

STARBOARD !!!!

Anonymous said...

Americans everywhere humor A detention wow gold notice was written like this: a wow power leveling police car with stones, to win wow gold the detention center for seven wow power leveling days all-inclusive accommodation replica rolex Tour Value; hit send 2 a beautiful bracelet, wow power level fashionsuit, police transport; more more surprises , the former can enjoy free shaved 10; before the 100 can play with power leveling the dogs, the guests were presented massage sticks, electric shocks to CHEAPEST power leveling the dead skin beauty care services.