Concept design and performance evaluation of a fossil free operated cargo ship with unlimited range
Paper in proceeding, 2020

To meet the IMO goals of emission reduction in shipping drastic actions must be taken. Wind-assisted propulsion and renewable energy sources are today discussed frequently as realistic alternatives for future ship propulsion and energy production. This study presents a new and innovative concept of a fossil-free cargo ship aiming to achieve an unlimited range. The purpose of the study is to present the feasibility but also the limitations of a ship propelled and operated purely on renewable energy harnessed at sea, independent from shore-based energy sources. Aside from Flettner rotors for propulsion, the ship concept incorporates photovoltaic generators, wind turbines and a dual-mode propeller to produce energy for the auxiliary systems and for the Flettner rotors, as well as batteries to balance the energy production and consumption. The dual-mode propeller can be used for energy generation and propulsion, thus levelling out any speed drops or peaks and thereby ensuring a more reliable operation. The whole system is modelled numerically, and full ship voyages are simulated using the ship performance model ShipCLEAN. Results show the feasibility of the concept and the achievable speeds on a route with realistic weather conditions. Further logistic and technical challenges are discussed.


Enric Julià Lluis

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Fabian Tillig

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

InnovSail 2020 Proceedings


The 5th International Conference on Innovation in High Performance Sailing Yachts and Sail-Assisted Ship Propulsion (INNOV’SAIL 2020)
Gothenburg, ,

ShipCLEAN - Energy efficient marine transport through optimization of coupled transportation logistics and energy systems analyses

Swedish Energy Agency (44454-1), 2017-09-01 -- 2019-12-31.

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