For hundreds of years intercontinental shipping was a wind-powered apparatus. Those were the days, right? So, I guess we can’t really file this under ‘innovation…’ Sails for ships, it’s a darn good idea, one whose time has come…again. SkySails, a German company, has developed a retrofit package that will give any ship larger than 80 feet the ability to harness the power of the wind in order to travel more quickly and fuel-efficiently.
The retrofit package, which includes sails as well as software for plotting efficient routes, costs from 300,000 to 3 million dollars and the first one was just purchased by Beluga Shipping who says the sail will help the company meet environmental goals.
SkySails says their system can reduce fuel use by as much as one third and, as global shipping is such a ridiculously inefficient system, we hope they’re right. We also hope that their estimate of 300 sales on the open ocean by 2011 is accurate.Via EcoFriend
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