Scandlines installs Norsepower Rotor Sail technology on hybrid ferry

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As part of its aim to become emission-free by 2040, Scandlines has set itself higher targets than those laid out in the Paris Agreement. Its latest step is the installation of a Norsepower Rotor Sail on its MV Berlin hybrid ferry.

Since 2013, Scandlines has invested more than US$316m in building and converting conventional ferries into hybrid ferries. In 2020, the ferry operator added environmentally friendly wind propulsion technology to its list of green initiatives by installing a Rotor Sail from Finnish company Norsepower on the hybrid ferry Copenhagen, which operates on the Rostock-Gedser route between Germany and Denmark. The sail has reduced the ferry’s CO2  emissions by an average of 4%. In ideal conditions, with optimal wind conditions, the reduction can be as much as 20%.

The Rotor Sail – a 30m-high rotating cylinder – is a modern version of the Flettner rotor, with technology based on the Magnus effect. When wind meets the spinning Rotor Sail, the airflow accelerates on one side of the sail and decelerates on the opposite side. The change in speed of the airflow results in a pressure difference, which creates a lift force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction. This enables a reduction in the use of diesel engines and cuts fuel consumption and associated emissions.

On May 16, 2022, Scandlines installed the Norsepower Rotor Sail on MV Berlin in the port of Rostock while the ferry was out of service for a few hours.

“After positive experiences with the Rotor Sail on the hybrid ferry Copenhagen, Scandlines had prepared the sister ferry Berlin for a Rotor Sail as well,” said Michael Guldmann Petersen, the COO of Scandlines. “We are happy to see that the installation was successfully completed and that the ferry went into operation again as planned.”

“Scandlines is taking the international GHG emissions reductions targets extremely seriously and is demonstrating a leading approach to investing in innovation to supersede these,” added Tuomas Riski, the CEO of Norsepower. “Expanding its use of our Rotor Sail technology on its second vessel highlights the viability of wind power and the significance of the emissions savings that can be achieved.”

The Norsepower Rotor Sail is fully automated. The system measures the wind speed and direction and calculates whether use of the Rotor Sail will reduce emissions. If so, the sail starts automatically. However, for specific port areas that are unsuitable for sail use, the Rotor Sail has settings to ensure the technology will not be activated.

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About Author


Matt joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over 15 years and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International. He is also the chairman of the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation & Excellence, and the Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International Awards.

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