Supertanker Becomes Vastly More Efficient By Adding Small Sails


The China Merchant Energy Shipping company has unveiled a groundbreaking new crude oil supertanker, which features 4 large sails designed to minimize its fuel usage.

As reported by the company, all 4 of these 130-foot wind turbines fitted on the supertanker have resulted in an astonishing 9.8% reduction in fuel consumption. This proves that taking advantage of natural wind currents to traverse the world’s oceans is still a viable option in the modern age.

This recently launched, more than 1000 feet long vessel looks completely different from traditional sailing ships. It has four ultra-lightweight carbon fiber composite blades, which can be adjusted electronically according to the requirements. The launch was successful and concluded late last month.

An advanced, computerized system constantly evaluates the prevailing conditions and adjusts the sail angles accordingly to optimize air current utilization efficiency.

The sailing system on the vessel is expected to shave off 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide pollution when sailing from the Middle East to China. This would significantly reduce the ship’s emissions, as diesel engines are still its main power source.

In 2016, a renewable energy systems company based in Japan introduced an innovative design that combines rigid sails with energy storage modules and solar panels for propulsion. It was one of the first to introduce the concept of using rigid sails as a way to reduce fuel consumption.

The concept of a zero-emission ship may have been around for years now, but it remains on the drawing board. That makes this new supertanker altogether impressive, as it is already being used in the real world — a far cry from any theoretical concept.

Certainly, the vessel retains its capability to transport approximately 2 million barrels of polluting fossil fuels. Yet, this is still a progressive measure in the appropriate direction. Overall, it is an encouraging signal of future improvements to come.

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