• 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

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
First ever Nobel Prize medal to be sold

First ever Nobel Prize medal to be sold

A former Nobel Prize winner is set to sell his medal at auction for an estimated 25 million kroner, it was revealed on Friday. READ  

EU: only 17 percent of Norwegians want in
Photo: Berit Keilen / NTB scanpix

EU: only 17 percent of Norwegians want in

Nearly three-quarters of people in Norway do not want to join the European Union, a poll has shown. READ  

Female boxing star Brækhus warned by rival
Cecilia Brækhus, the world's hottest property in women's boxing. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Female boxing star Brækhus warned by rival

Norway's top female boxing star, Cecilia Brækhus, was warned by her rival on Thursday she could face a surprise defeat during this weekend's bout in Copenhagen. READ  

Pensioner blasts policeman with shotgun
Photo: loading shotgun Shutterstock

Pensioner blasts policeman with shotgun

A Norwegian OAP has been charged with attempted murder after he shot and nearly killed a policeman in Lillehammer, on Thursday. READ  

Hated dating coach cancels Oslo dates

Hated dating coach cancels Oslo dates

Controversial pick-up artist, Julien Blanc, who has been barred from entering several countries, has cancelled his plans to come to Norway, it was revealed on Thursday. READ  

Trouble flares at crunch soccer game in Norway
Brann and Mjøndalen compete in tense relegation tie. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Trouble flares at crunch soccer game in Norway

Police had to deal with trouble from fans during a crunch relegation battle between Brann and home side Mjøndalen, on Wednesday evening, that led to the game being temporarily stopped. READ  

US Congress members move to block Norwegian
Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Airlines, is fighting to get a permanent licence to operate flights out of the US. Photo: NTB scanpix

US Congress members move to block Norwegian

Growing numbers of US Congress members are moving to block Norwegian Airlines' pursuit of a permanent licence to run flights between Europe and America. READ  

Falling oil prices may cause new recession
Norway's consumers face an uncertain future. Photo: Sara Johannessen / scanpix

Falling oil prices may cause new recession

The worldwide fall in oil prices could mean Norway will move towards a new economic downturn, predict experts on Wednesday. READ  

False prophets: Fortune tellers jailed in Norway
Owners of a Norway firm which dealt in Tarot card readings were charged for fraud. Shutterstock

False prophets: Fortune tellers jailed in Norway

A company which provided customers with Tarot card readings and clairvoyant services has seen its owners charged with embezzlement and jailed, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Putin praises Carlsen's 'genius' in Sochi
Vladimir Putin congratulates Magnus Carlsen in Sochi. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Putin praises Carlsen's 'genius' in Sochi

Vladimir Putin arrived fashionably late in Sochi to congratulate Norway's Magnus Carlsen after the Norwegian collected his title and prize money at the Chess World Championship closing ceremony, on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
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
Society
Norwegian 'child bride' to marry in Oslo
Society
The fickle five: Meet the Nobel commitee
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
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
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
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
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

283
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply