Originally published on September 17, 2013
A Norwegian engineer has come up with a revolutionary design for a ship that could save up to 60 percent in fuel costs when compared to a normal cargo vessel.
Terje Lade, designer ship's designer, was formerly an engineer in the oil and ship industries, got the idea from his favorite pastime of speed-sailing.
The ship's hull functions as a giant sail, harnessing the wind to propel the vessel forward.
The huge ship, known as the Vindskip, is designed to carry up to 7,000 cars, about the same capacity as a conventional cargo ship.
The ship would also feature a gas engine reducing the reliance on heavy fuel oil and drastically reducing the amount of emissions and pollution including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides associated with the shipping industry.
The hull design has undergone successful tests in a wind tunnel at Cranfield University in the UK
Computer control systems on board the Vindskip would enable the captain of the ship to compare weather readings and choose either the fastest or most economic route available.
The computer would also adjust the engine speed according to wind speed and direction in order to keep the ship at a constant speed of 18 knots.
He said he had designed the boat to take cargos of up to 7,000 cars, which is comparable to a normal modern cargo ship.
The project is being funded by Lade, private investors and government agency Innovation Norway.
Lade, who is in talks with designers and shipyards, said he hopes the first ship can be built within three to four years.
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