Making shipping more climate-friendly in the future – can that be achieved? British developers want to do exactly that with the new Windwings drive system.

Long transport routes for goods or food continually contribute to global emissions. This also includes shipping. Although their share can be expressed as a percentage with a small number, it still has a big impact.

But how could shipping solve this problem? The answer is in the air, as a new drive system now wants to prove. An Olympic champion was even involved in the development.

This is what drives Windwings

Shipping in the EU must reduce its emissions by two percent by 2025 – this is the target of the “Fuel EU Maritime” regulation. By 2040 there should be savings of 31 percent and by 2050 a full 80 percent.

But this is hardly possible without alternative propulsion methods for cargo ships. But this is exactly where the Windwings come into play, as they can also power a large cargo ship with the power of the wind.

Where did the invention come from?

The Windwings were created in Great Britain and Norway. The British company BAR Technologies, which was founded by one of the world’s most successful sailors, is behind the idea.

Sir Ben Ainslie has won medals in five consecutive Olympic Games, winning gold from 2000 to 2012. This makes the four-time Olympic champion the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

So it’s no wonder that his company’s Windwings are based on the high-tech sails from top-class sports.

The company Yara Marine Technologies, which comes from Norway, is behind the construction. The company says it is focused on enabling a “greener maritime industry.”

Windwings are intended to make shipping greener

Although the Windwings are based on the sails from sports, they appear significantly different visually. The three-part construction is made of a fiberglass composite material and is 37.5 meters tall.

With the help of sensors, the system can rotate with the wind. The two outer elements are also mobile and can therefore adjust to the wind as best as possible.

If the futuristic sail is not needed or the wind is too strong, it can be folded up.

Savings potential on the maiden voyage

The Windwings have now set sail on their maiden voyage with the “Pyxis Ocean”. From Singapore to Brazil, the new wind technology is now being tested for six weeks on behalf of the Cargill company.

The freighter was subsequently equipped with two sails, which will initially serve as auxiliary propulsion. According to estimates, the ship could use around 30 percent less fuel.

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