Smart Green Shipping

Design number: 223 Year: 2022

Humphreys Yacht Design have been collaborating with Smart Green Shipping since 2008, developing solutions for wind assisted propulsion in shipping and providing naval architectural support.

The journey gathered pace in 2012, when SGS and HYD carried out an initial feasibility study on a wind assisted, small dry bulk carrier of ~4000 dwt. The concept was based around a new build ship, employing three heavily industrialised DynaRigs. The test program comprised both tank testing and wind tunnel testing to accurately capture the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic characteristics of the hull, and various appendage configurations, and DynaRigs respectively. This provided some extremely encouraging results which demonstrated the potential for wind assisted propulsion on large ships.

The next phase of the journey involved close collaboration with Drax, one of the UK’s largest power producers, which provided real focus on end user requirements with regards to wind assisted propulsion devices and how these would need to be integrated to minimise impact on operational procedures, particularly when loading and unloading. This also pointed to the need to develop wind assisted propulsion devices that would be suitable for much larger ships which lead to the development of the FastRig concept – a retractable twin element rigid wing sail. The twin element, rigid wing provides a highly efficient configuration for lift generation, enabling it to provide high levels of thrust, but in a relatively compact package and with fewer moving parts compared to some other more complex configurations. The compact size and retractability help to minimise impact on operational procedures, while the relatively light all up weight of the FastRig minimise impact on the deadweight capacity of a ship.

In 2019 SGS were awarded funding through Innovate UK which allowed SGS & HYD to complete a proof of concept study for the FastRig. This was developed around a specific case study for Drax looking at the impact of retrofitting multiple FastRigs to an existing Kamsarmax dry bulk carrier, operating between the Gulf of Mexico and the English Channel. This provided the opportunity for optimisation of the FastRig geometry through CFD run by the Wolfson Unit, and to develop the preliminary structural design in collaboration with Applied Engineering Services. The results further demonstrated the potential for wind assisted propulsion on large ships with the multiple FastRig installation studied demonstrating the indicating the potential for fuel savings well in excess of 20% when operating on the North Atlantic route studied.

Development work has continued on this specific case study with HYD commissioning Cape-Horn Engineering to carry out a series of high fidelity Rans CFD simulations building upon the work previously carried out for Innovate UK. These simulations covered the complete physics of the whole system, capturing the aerodynamics of the FastRigs and ship above the waterline and the hydrodynamics of the ship’s hull and everything else below the waterline, including the ships propulsion system.

In 2022, SGS were awarded funding through Scottish Enterprise, to build a full-scale Land-Based Demonstrator of the FastRig. This is now in production and due for installation in Spring 2024 at a previous wind turbine test site at Hunterston, on the Firth of Clyde. For more information and latest news on the FastRig land-based demonstrator please click here.

Separately in 2023, SGS were awarded funding via the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition by the Department of Transport & Innovate UK to retrofit a single FastRig on a bulk carrier. For more information and latest news on the Winds of Change project please click here.

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