The Norwegian company Lade A S has released a new cargo ship design that could succeed in making the shipping industry more environmentally friendly in the future.
The new ship is called the "VindSkip," and features a high hull shaped like a symmetrical air foil. The hull is designed to act as a sail, using the wind to propel it forward through the water. The VindSkip's designers said they were inspired by the aerodynamics of sailboats and aerospace vessels.
"VindSkip can almost sail into the wind," Terje Lade, the ship's designer, told CNN. "It uses apparent wind, or the sail wind, to generate pull in much the same way that an airplane will take off when it reaches a certain speed."
The ship would operate on a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) electric propulsion system, which would allow the vessel to gain the necessary speeds to generate aerodynamic lift with its hull. The VindSkip could be capable of enabling fuel savings of 60 percent and an emission reduction of 80 percent.
Specialized computer software will enable the ship to take into account departure and arrival times, as well as weather conditions, to determine the best course of travel and consume the least amount of fuel. As a result, shipping costs will decrease and there will be less harmful effects on the natural environment.
Lade estimated that the VindSkip will begin sailing in 2019.
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