The global freight transport industry accounts for approximately 2 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Soon, an advanced clean energy ship could finally offer a green solution for transporting cargo across the ocean.
Automakers understand that ‘electrifying’ our transportation sector will be crucial to reducing dangerous emissions and mitigating a climate crisis. But two areas where electrifying our transportation has proven difficult include commercial aviation and heavy cargo transportation.
A prototype announced in September by Wallenius Marine could finally change that.
Powered by a series of huge retractable “sails” that resemble the wings of an airplane, the OceanBird will carry 7,000 cars (or any equivalent weight) across the ocean while reducing carbon emissions by an impressive 90 percent, a change game for a global industry that currently carries a large carbon count.
When fully extended, the OceanBirdThe wing-like upright sails stand 80 meters (262 feet) high and use the power of the air to propel the ship forward, crucially achieving a speed nearly equivalent to that of fossil fuel-powered ships.
New software advances will use mathematical algorithms to calculate when and how to adjust the ship’s sails to continuously maximize its speed. With the help of these ongoing assessments, the OceanBird will reach up to 10 nautical miles per hour (knots) for a voyage across the Atlantic in 12 days.
Fossil fuel cargo ships often complete the journey in 8 days, but companies that transport cargo in the traditional way would need to calculate a large carbon footprint for their goods.
To help smooth out each voyage, Wallenius Marine reports that a clean fuel system synchronized with an auxiliary engine will move the ship in and out of ports. This will open up the possibility of using the technology in the cruise industry, although not in the near future.
The company is still firmly in the design phase, testing smaller models. However, the Swedish collaboration, which includes KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) and SSPA, a naval technology company, is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration, acting as a co-financier, and together they are aiming for a 2024. -out list, after receiving orders in 2021.
Wherever we transport heavy ships across oceans or large waterways, eco-friendly shipping can have a significant impact, and investors expect OceanBird, with its 90% reduction in carbon emissions, to be a part. important of this equation.
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