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Scandlines introduces Norsepower’s Rotor Sail solution on board hybrid ferry

Scandlines introduces Norsepower’s Rotor Sail solution on board hybrid ferry

Scandlines drives venture in wind propulsion innovation on board the M/V Copenhagen reducing further carbon emissions.

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Ferry administrator Scandlines is pleased to report that it has signed an agreement with NorsepowerOy Ltd, driving clean innovation and engineering company pioneering advanced wind impetus innovation, to introduce Norsepower’s Rotor Cruise Arrangement on board the M/V Copenhagen, a crossover passenger ferry.

Operating between Rostock in Germany and Gedser in Denmark, the M/V Copenhagen belongs to the world’s largest fleet of hybrid ferries, which combines diesel and battery power. Since 2013, Scandlines has invested more than EUR 300 million in building and retrofitting ferries from conventional diesel-driven to hybrid ferries. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions.

The system has already been installed on three (3) vessels and has achieved over 35,000 hours in operation and has delivered independently verified fuel savings with potential of up to 20 percent. Last year, Viking Line installed an 80-foot Norsepower system on the cruise ferry Viking Grace.

The Norsepower rotor sail is an update on the original Flettner design, with several notable improvements. It is built of lightweight composite materials, and it is fully automated: its control equipment senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotor starts on its own (with full control available to the crew). It is suitable for vessels with high utilization, open deck space, and trading routes in areas with favorable wind conditions.

The E.U. forecasts that there could be up to 10,700 wind propulsion installations on bulkers and tankers by 2030.

The International Windship Association notes that wind propulsion technologies are available in seven main categories:

• Soft Sail – both traditional sail and new designs of dynarig etc.

• Hard Sail – wingsails, foils etc. Some rigs have solar panels for added ancillary power generation.

• Flettner Rotor (Rotor Sail) – rotating cylinders operated by low power motors using the Magnus effect (difference in air pressure on different sides of a spinning object) to generate thrust

 Suction Wings (Ventifoil, Turbosail) – non-rotating wing with vents and internal fan (or other device) that use boundary layer suction for maximum effect.

• Kites – dynamic or passive kites off the bow of the vessel to assist propulsion or to generate a mixture of thrust and electrical energy.

• Turbines – using marine adapted wind turbines to either generate electrical energy or a combination of electrical energy and thrust.

• Hull Form – the redesign of ship’s hulls to capture the power of the wind to generate thrust.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship. It is the first data-verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. When wind conditions are favourable, it enables the electric propulsion thrusters and center propel to be throttled back, reducing emissions – while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Because it generates supplementary thrust from wind, the solution is compatible with all other emissions saving technologies.


Preparations for the retrofit will take place in November 2019 with the installation scheduled for Q2 2020. M/V Copenhagen is set to be retrofitted with one large-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail unit that is 30m in height and 5m in diameter.

Commenting on the deal, Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower says: “As a leading clean technology and engineering company, we are proud to be partnering with Scandlines as we work towards a modern era of auxiliary wind propulsion for the global maritime fleet, while supporting shipping’s transition to a low-carbon future.”

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