Wind propelled vessel

Published: Friday, 6 April 2018 at 8:49:14 AM

Wind propelled vessel arrives at Geraldton Port The MV AFROS arrived at berth 3 this morning,

More than a century after moving away from wind power, a new vessel to arrive at Geraldton Port’s Berth 3 this morning has again looked to harness the power of mother nature.

The MV AFROS is the first ever bulk carrier to embrace spinning sail technology to harness the power of the wind – developed originally to reduce reliance on fuel.

Mid West Ports Authority marine pilot Scott Beevers brought the wind propelled vessel in to Geraldton Port this morning, which he said handled beautifully.

The vessel, with its unique look already catching the eye of many around the port, features four large rotor sails on the starboard side.

These rotors use the principles of the Magnus effect to propel the vessel forward.

The Magnus effect, commonly associated with a spinning object, drags air faster around one side, creating a difference in pressure that moves it in the direction of the lower-pressure side.

It’s the same effect that causes a ball to spin in some sports, and can be harnessed in a similar way to propel the vessel forward.

The thrust produced by the rotors significantly reduces the need for engine power, without losing operating speed, therefore saving fuel and ultimately reducing emissions.

Marine pilot Ross Halsall said a ship with this type of configuration is a first for the port.

“This system has been developed with the intent of both reducing fuel costs and reducing greenhouse gases,” he said.

“It is very much at the forefront of future ship development.”

The MV AFROS will depart Geraldton Port tomorrow morning.  

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