Development is underway to design the modern world’s apparently first 100% fossil fuel-free sailing cargo ships.
With rising fuel prices and the global challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this project is set to change the shipping industry by providing efficient and affordable low-carbon shipping, according to B9 Shipping, which is behind the concept.
The project combines proven technology, using the state of the art dyna-rig sail propulsion system with an off the shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by waste derived liquid bio-methane (liquid gas).
B9 Shipping, part of the B9 Energy group of companies, has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel validating the engineering and economic assumptions of the initial vessel design.
The fundamental testing programme is being conducted at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics (WUMTIA), which has provided innovative marine technology and industrial aerodynamics expertise for over 40 years to a world-wide customer base.
Diane Gilpin, a director of B9 Shipping, says: “The shipping sector is a highly complex, interconnected system and our task has been to develop relationships with key players across the industry.
“Having worked previously with WUMTIA, I believe this collaboration will enable a robust, commercially and technically viable solution to be ready for scale once the engineering is proven.”
The testing programme, which started this summer, will undertake tow tank and wind tunnel research to identify a basic hull design and how it interacts with the dyna-rig system.
Economic analysis will be undertaken later in the summer once towing tank and wind tunnel testing is complete and all data has been validated.
Gilpin adds: “We are designing B9 Ships holistically as super-efficient new builds transferring technology from offshore yacht racing combined with the most advanced commercial naval architecture.
We’re combining proven technologies in a novel way to develop ‘ready-to-go’ future-proof and 100% fossil fuel-free ships.”