A giant kite helps a multi-ton ship sail

(ORDO NEWS) — A kite with an area of ​​about 900 square meters takes off 200 meters into the air, capturing a more stable and stronger wind.

French startup Airseas has successfully tested a massive kite that has helped pull cargo ships across the sea in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2,700-square-foot “Seawing” paragliding kite was first tested last month on the 21,528-ton freighter Ville de Bordeaux.

“We are proud to have a solution that can help ships reduce emissions right now and accelerate the decarbonization of the maritime sector in the coming years,” Airseas CEO Vincent Bernatec said in a statement.

The Seawing Integrated Solution incorporates kite technology with an automated flight control system created by the aerospace industry to capture wind energy.

The system is “safe, clean, reliable and compact” and can be easily implemented on virtually any commercial vessel to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by an average of 20 percent, the company says.

Autonomous takeoff and landing of a kite is possible thanks to deck equipment.

There is a mast, storage room, trolleys and winches. A bogie system retrieves the wing from storage and then inflates it at the top of the mast.

The paragliding wing, flight control module and umbilical cable control the wing’s autonomous and perfect flight.

The umbilical cord that connects the wing to the capsule and the capsule to the ship controls thrust, transmits data, and powers the capsule.

To maximize system power and ensure safety, the module guides the wing during flight.

Marine equipment is bolted and takes up little space on deck, making it easy to re-equip during a short visit to the port.

It can be installed on almost all types of vessels, is not limited in height and does not interfere with cargo operations, according to the company’s website.

A kite (or sail) has only one-tenth the power of a sea kite, which flies dynamically at speeds of over 100 km/h in a figure-of-eight trajectory.

The kite must fly 200 meters in the air to catch a more stable and stronger wind.

The kite can greatly reduce the load on cargo ship engines and their dependence on unrefined diesel fuel.

The International Maritime Organization has set a target for the industry to cut emissions in half by 2050.


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