Advancing Wind Propulsion: The IWSA White Paper


The International Windship Association (IWSA) has released a comprehensive white paper on wind propulsion, supported by France, the Solomon Islands, and the Union of Comoros. This paper is slated for discussion at the upcoming Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 81) meeting in March, aiming to advance wind-hybrid decarbonization pathways in shipping.

Key Considerations for Wind Energy

  1. Direct Propulsion: Wind serves as a direct, non-combustible energy source for propulsion, historically proven and capable of moving ships entirely on its own.
  2. Non-Commoditized vs. Commoditized Fuels: Unlike commoditized energy sources like electricity, wind energy is used directly and does not require conversion through motors, distinguishing it from traditional fuel sources.
  3. Hybrid Systems: Wind vessels operate on hybrid systems, incorporating primary or auxiliary engines alongside wind propulsion to address intermittency and ensure continuous operation.

Onboard Energy Harvesting

Wind propulsion uniquely enables onboard energy harvesting, allowing surplus wind energy to be captured and stored through various technologies such as hydro-generators or deck-mounted turbines. This stored energy can subsequently power onboard systems or even generate alternative fuels, contributing to greater sustainability in maritime operations.

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Source: Safety4sea