Hapag-Lloyd Explores Wind-Assisted Propulsion For 4500 TEU Box Ship

The German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has been researching wind-assisted propulsion for about 4,500 TEU box vessels as part of the firm’s R&D activities that involve alternative tech and fuels.

Earlier in the year, the firm collaborated with Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia and introduced a concept study for a 4,500 TEU vessel with a wind-assisted propulsion system.

The concept study is likely to be finalized in the next few months and will also give the firm a basis for the next steps. To date, wind propulsion investment has a preliminary focus on bulk carriers where there’s a lot of open deck space.

Hapag Lloyd
Image Credits: Hapag Lloyd

It’s noted that Hapag Lloyd has been working for some time on the issue of wind-assisted vessel propulsion and how this can be realized in tech terms. But since this technology is not ready for the market yet, we think it is crucial to expand the studies on it, mentioned Christoph Thiem, the Director of Strategic Assets Projects at Hapag-Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd, the fifth-largest container shipping major in the world, completed the study’s first-ever phase in May this year. This has allowed the company an initial impression of what this kind of vessel might look like. In the summer, this shipping major initiated phase two, which is currently ongoing.

The current design envisions eight sails with a sail area of about 3,000 sq. meters. Six rear sails are going to be extendable; the two front ones will be retractable. This helps to prevent hindering cargo operations at the port and to safeguard the sail system from damages as well as to prevent limitations due to things such as bridges.

The box vessel will be propelled by its engine, and the sail system will only be used to assist propulsion.

How much aid the sail system can offer depends on many factors, like the ship’s speed as well as wind conditions. At slow speeds of 8 to 10 knots and with the right wind conditions, the vessel can be propelled using the sail system.

The Hapag-Lloyd team has yet not explored each aspect of this. The team has been working with historical weather data for the Conosur service that sails around South America.

The firm said that it will be looking at other shipping channels to figure out how it could be able to realize more advantages on other channels with the help of such a sailing system.

Reference: Offshore Energy

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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