Wind Propulsion in Commercial Shipping: Challenges for Reaching its Potential!

The DynaRig on board Maltese Falcon (Copyright COCHLIAS SAM, photograph by Ed Wright). (Photo obtained from Lloyd's Register)

The DynaRig on board Maltese Falcon
(Copyright COCHLIAS SAM, photograph by Ed Wright).
(Photo obtained from Lloyd’s Register)

At the 4th Natural Propulsion seminar in the Netherlands this past April – which featured a talk by our a dear friend of GMT Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the IWSA! –  Lloyd’s Register representative Dimitris Argyros spoke of the recent report that LR has made in highlighting the challenges that wind-powered commercial shipping faces today. Chief among these challenges are: (1) Adapting the wind-powered technologies that are so popular in the racing yacht sector to the merchant shipping sector; (2) dramatic decreases in fuel prices that make oil-powered shipping economically attractive; (3) lack of knowledge/education/interest in making such a dramatic and unknown change, among others.

In order to create a realistic investment for wind-powered shipping in the future of commercial transport, Lloyd’s Register recommends that solutions be concentrated on industry structure, perception and education on economic values, technology transfer, and operational/technical needs.

– C.A.L.

You can read more about the debate over wind-powered shipping here: http://www.lr.org/en/marine/technology-and-innovation/technology/windpoweredshipping.aspx

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