• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

The cargo ship whose hull is a giant sail

Richard Orange · 6 Sep 2013, 23:10

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. 
 
Story continues below…
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
Brexit - Opinion
Norwegian in London: 'Brexit is dreadful for the UK's unity'
Commuters cross the London Bridge on Friday. Photo: DANIEL SORABJI/Scanpix

Welsh-Norwegian reporter Sunniva Davies-Rommetveit writes that Brexit leaves her fearing a new isolationist UK.

Norway enjoys one of world's 'best reputations'
Despite a fall from second, Norway still enjoys one of the world's best reputations. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway tumbled three spots in a new report ranking the most reputable countries in the world.

Brexit
Norway PM: EU should heed Brexit ‘warning’
People walk past a "Vote Leave" sign as they arrive to vote in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday. Photo: Paul Faith/Scanpix

Erna Solberg said on Friday morning that she is worried about the knock-off political consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Rain threatens Norway's Sankthans celebrations
According to the forecast, this year's Sankthans celebrations won't be quite as nice as last year. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Norwegians may have a hard time lighting their Sankthans bonfires, as the weekend calls for damp conditions throughout the country, particularly in the south.

Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe
Filling your cart in a Norwegian supermarket costs 159 percent of the EU average. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

... but it is for booze and tobacco.

PM 'happy' with asylum restrictions but wants more
By her own calculations, PM Erna Solberg has delivered on 95 percent of her promises. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

PM Erna Solberg touted her government’s success in delivering on its 2013 election promises but said she regrets that she couldn’t push through even more asylum restrictions.

Man threatens to set himself on fire at Norway's parliament
he incident occurred at Eidsvoll Square, just west of the parliament building. Photo: Chris Brown/Flickr

A man threatened to light himself on fire outside of the Norwegian parliament building in Oslo on Wednesday.

Brexit
Norway PM: Brexit will leave a more nationalistic Europe
Both PM Erna Solberg and FM Børge Brende said they fear the ramifications of Brexit. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday that she fears Europe will become a much more nationalistic place if Britain votes to leave the EU on Thursday.

From death row to romance: ex-con couple beats the odds
Sunny Jacobs (R) and Peter Pringle (L), who were on death row for several years and are now activists against death penalty, pictured at the Opera house in Oslo on Monday. Photo: Lars Os/AFP/Scanpix

Meet the unlikely couple sharing their story at the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, being held in Oslo.

Animal rights groups slam Norway's whaling industry
The report alleges that Norway has escaped international scrutiny over its whaling industry. Photo: Martin Cathrae/Flickr

A report alleges that Norway has been mostly shielded from scrutiny by the international community.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
2,031
jobs available