• Norway edition
 
The cargo ship whose hull is a giant sail
Vindskip at sea - Terje Lade

The cargo ship whose hull is a giant sail

Published: 06 Sep 2013 23:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Oslo withdraws bid from 2022 Winter Olympics

Oslo withdraws bid from 2022 Winter Olympics

Norway's ruling government party has voted against Oslo's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Wednesday. READ  

Jens Stoltenberg starts as new NATO chief
Jens Stoltenberg at his inaugural press conference as NATO general secretary in Brussels. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Jens Stoltenberg starts as new NATO chief

Former Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Brussels on Wednesday to begin his new post as NATO secretary general and highlighted the crisis in Ukraine, NATO's relations with Russia, and the fight against terror as his key issues. READ  

Norway best country for older people
Silhouette of a senior woman in a nursery home in Norway. Photo: Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norway best country for older people

Norway is the best place to live and grow old, according to a global index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries, released this week. READ  

Ødegaard gets ready for another Norway call-up
Martin Ødegaard. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Ødegaard gets ready for another Norway call-up

Norway coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has called up Martin Ødegaard to his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Malta and Bulgaria, it was announced on Monday. READ  

Royksopp say farewell with fifth and final album
Electronic artists from Norway Royskopp perform. Photo: Shutterstock

Royksopp say farewell with fifth and final album

Norwegian electronic artists Royksopp said Monday that they would stop making albums with the release of a final, darker work. READ  

Gas leak brings chaos to Norwegian town

Gas leak brings chaos to Norwegian town

An ammonia leak at a dairy in South-West Norway led to nine people hospitalised and the town centre evacuated on Tuesday. READ  

Oslo: Police arrest 16 after drugs bust
Police chief Kåre Stølen and assistant Roger Andresen speak at press conference after the Oslo raids. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix Prices

Oslo: Police arrest 16 after drugs bust

Police arrested 16 people on Tuesday during a drug raid in Oslo where the suspects are said to have used teenagers to sell marijuana on the streets. READ  

Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
Queen Sonja of Norway. Photo: Martti Kainulainen / NTB scanpix

Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed

The nephew of Queen Sonja of Norway and founder of Synnøve Finden’s cheese factory, Dag Swanstrøm, was sentenced to eight month in jail for embezzlement on Tuesday. READ  

Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
Kjell Magne Bondevik. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel

The Nobel Prize committee announced their likely successor as Norway’s former Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, to replace Thorbjørn Jagland if he is forced out of his position. READ  

Vestfold bus fire causes 25m kroner damage
13 buses ablaze in Stokke, South-East Norway. Photo: Peder Gjersøe / NTB scanpix

Vestfold bus fire causes 25m kroner damage

A huge mystery blaze in a Vestfold industrial estate on Tuesday morning saw 13 luxury buses go up in smoke, worth an estimated 25 million kroner ($4 million). READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Norway best country for older people
Society
Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
National
Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
Society
Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
National
Photo: Baby cliff edge shocker in Norway
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Culture
Britney to visit Norway for lingerie launch
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
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
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
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
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

313
jobs available