Ship energy performance study of three wind-assisted ship propulsion technologies including a parametric study of the Flettner rotor technology
Journal article, 2020

Due to the call of low carbon emissions and requirement of energy efficient shipping, the utilization of wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP) technologies has become a popular topic in shipping activities. Ship owners and operators call for investigations on the performance of using different WASP technologies for commercial ships in real life operational conditions. In this study, a 4 degrees of freedom ship performance prediction model is used to compare three WASP technologies: the Flettner rotor, a wingsail and the DynaRig concept. An Aframax Oil Tanker on a route between Gabon and Canada is used in a case study to compare the three WASP technologies using actual information for the voyage (e.g. route, environment conditions). The fuel savings for the three technologies were calculated and they varied between 5.6% and 8.9%, where the Flettner rotor showed the largest fuel savings. A parametric study of the Flettner rotor technology was carried out to research how its dimensions and operation conditions for two ship types on two voyages influence the fuel savings. The results show that fuel savings were achieved by several percentages for all the studied cases. It is shown that it is necessary to select and operate the Flettner rotor according to its ship type, speed, voyage routes and corresponding weather conditions to achieve as large fuel savings as possible.


ship energy efficiency


Flettner rotor


wind-assisted ship propulsion

sail technology


Ruihua Lu

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Ships and Offshore Structures

1744-5302 (ISSN) 1754-212X (eISSN)

Vol. 15 3 249-258

Chalmers Area of Advance Transport – funding 2018

Chalmers, 2018-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Energy Systems

Marine Engineering


Basic sciences



More information

Latest update