• Norway's news in English
 

The cargo ship whose hull is a giant sail

Published: 06 Sep 2013 23:10 GMT+02:00

Terje Lade, the ship's inventor, worked as an engineer in Norway's oil and shipping industries before deciding to devote himself full-time to his creation, dubbed Project Vindskip, earlier this year. 
 
"I'm talking to both ship-owners and ship yards, but I can't say anything more specific than that," he said of his plans to commercialize the design. "I believe that within three to four years we will build the first ship." 
 
The hull works in the same way a ship's sail does when it is sailing close-hauled, just off the direction of the wind. 
 
However, because the hull/sail works in tandem with a gas-fired engine, it can also take advantage of the apparent wind created by the forward propulsion, meaning the sail provides a pull even sailing across the wind. 
 
"It will give you a positive pull in the direction of the ship more than fifty percent of the time, as an average, without doing anything," he said. "You don't have to think about it. It's so simple." 
 
Lade got the idea from his hobby of speed-sailing, where the record was set by a boat in close-hauled position. 
 
"The world record was set by a French sailing boat, sailing 52 knots when the true wind was only 25 knots," he told The Local. "This shows how it is when you are sailing close-hauled and the design is right." 
 
The idea is to match the hull design with a complex weather reading system, and a cruise control computer which gives the ship's captain a choice of routes, depending on whether he is looking for the fastest or most economic option. 
 
The computer then adjusts the propulsion from the engine depending on the wind speed and direction, in order to keep the ship moving forward at a constant speed of around 18 knots, comparable with other cargo vessels.  
 
A documentary on Norway's state channel NRK on Thursday night showed Lade testing the hull in a wind tunnel at the UK's Cranfield University. 
 
"In the beginning they thought it was a crazy idea, but after having had a closer look at it, and doing some calculations, the professor said it was very clever," Lade told The Local. 
 
He said he had designed the boat to take cargos of up to 7,000 cars, which is comparable to a normal modern cargo ship. 
 
The project has so far been funded by a grant from Innovation Norway, a government agency, Lade's own funds, and two private investors. 
 
The goal is to lessen the emissions and pollution associated with the shipping trade.  
 
"It is out of concern for the earth, for the environment. Today, they are using heavy fuel oil, which contains 4.5 percent sulphur, which makes acid in the sea, in addition to the carbon dioxide and the NOx. It's no good so many ships going year after year. It's no good for the earth." 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Eco homes cause asthma': Norway group
Passive terrace houses in Grimstad Norway built in cooperation with the Rockwool company. Photo: Rockwool Scandinavia

'Eco homes cause asthma': Norway group

Norway’s largest association for asthma and allergy sufferers has warned that new carbon neutral building regulations may lead to an increase in breathing disorders and allergies. READ  

Breivik takes Norway to court on human rights
Anders Behring Breivik during his trial in 2012. Photo: Haakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix

Breivik takes Norway to court on human rights

Anti-Islamist terrorist Anders Behring Breivik has taken legal action against the Norwegian state claiming his four years of "extreme isolation" in prison is a violation of his human rights. READ  

Two Norwegians held after Israel ship siege
The Ship to Gaza trawler at the Israeli port of Ashdod. Photo: Ship to Gaza

Two Norwegians held after Israel ship siege

Israeli authorities are holding two Norwegian citizens after their ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip was boarded in international waters by the Israeli military. READ  

Norway scientists find cause of coeliac disease
A biopsy of a small bowel afflicted by coeliac disease. Photo: ToNToNi/Wikimedia Commons

Norway scientists find cause of coeliac disease

Norwegian scientists have discovered the cause of coeliac disease, the auto-immune disorder which causes gluten intolerance in about one in a hundred people READ  

'We not ill. No children. We beg for beer'
Adrian Golebiewski poses on Oslo's Karl Johans Gate. Photo: Facebook

'We not ill. No children. We beg for beer'

Two young Polish men have started begging for money in central Oslo with a sign which mocks the many Roma beggars. 'We not ill. We have no children. We beg for beer,' it reads. READ  

Man faces eight years in Norway jihadi trial
This image was posted on one of Ishaq Ahmed's social media profiles. Photo: screen grab

Man faces eight years in Norway jihadi trial

Norwegian prosecutors are seeking an eight-year jail sentence for a jihadist who they say fought for the Islamic State group and an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Syria, media reported on Tuesday. READ  

Ban Ki-Moon to visit Svalbard in climate move
Ban Ki-Moon on his trip to Svalbard in 2009. Photo: UN/Mark Garten

Ban Ki-Moon to visit Svalbard in climate move

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon plans to visit the Arctic islands of Svalbard next week as part of his preparations for the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. READ  

Video
Dramatic helicopter sea rescue in Norway
The fishing boat was half submerged when the rescue team arrived. Photo: Screen grab

Dramatic helicopter sea rescue in Norway

A video filmed from a rescue helicopter shows how two fishermen were rescued from an inflatable lifeboat after their ship sank on Thursday off the coast of northern Norway. READ  

Video
Norway player in awesome bicycle kick
Matthias Vilhjalmsson as he executes his extraordinary kick. Photo: Screen Grab from YouTube

Norway player in awesome bicycle kick

Norwegian Elite Series footballer Matthias Vilhjalmsson has pulled off one of the finest bicycle kicks in football history, showing that the technique is not the sole preserve of Latin players. READ  

Norwegians 'have it too good to go abroad'
Jan Grønbech believes Norwegians should work out of the country more often. Photo: Twitter profile

Norwegians 'have it too good to go abroad'

Norwegians are so comfortably off at home that it is almost impossible to get them to take positions abroad, the head of Google in Norway has complained. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Oslo is the crystal meth capital of Europe
Sport
VIDEO: Man in Norway catches fish too big for boat
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
International
'Snowden could come to Norway to collect prize'
Technology
Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
Culture
World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,186
jobs available