International producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services Cargill will install the world’s largest kite on Greek ship management company Anbros Maritime’s Aghia Marina vessel by early 2012.
In 2010, Cargill signed a supply agreement with German automated towing kite systems manufacturer SkySails to use wind power technology to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the shipping industry.
SkySails has developed a patented technology that uses a kite, which flies ahead of the vessel to generate enough propulsion to reduce consumption of bunker fuel by between 10% and 35%, depending on the prevailing wind conditions.
SkySails partnered with fibre manufacturer DSM Dyneema and rope specialist Gleistein to develop the rope used for the kite system.
The rope incorporates DSM Dyneema’s proprietary ultrahigh molecular-weight polyethylene fibre, reputed to be one of the strongest known synthetic fibres.
The technology partners state that the fibre is manu-factured by means of a gel- spinning process that com-bines extreme strength with significant softness.
The resulting fibre has a high strength:low weight ratio, making it 15 times stronger than steel and 40% stronger than aramid fibres, another strong synthetic fibre, on a weight-for-weight basis.
Further, the fibre is ultra-violet (UV) resistant, giving it a strong resistance to photo degradation when exposed to UV light. It is also reported to be moisture resistant, or hydrophobic. The fibre resists water absorption, providing an extra level of protection and durability.
The towing rope transmits the tractive forces of the towing kite to the ship. With the help of the wind, a 160 m2 system generates up to 8 t of tractive force.
A 320 m2 kite will be installed on the Aghia Marina in the first quarter of 2012, and the system will be fully operational in a matter of weeks thereafter. The vessel, which Cargill has on charter, will use the system for the next five years.
SkySails will train the vessel’s crew on how to operate the kite.
The SkySails towing kite will be connected to the ship by rope and will fly in a figure-of-eight formation at a height of between 100 m and 420 m.
“Anbros Maritime is proud to announce the signing of an agreement with Cargill and SkySails to use wind power to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel costs in the shipping industry. We are committed to the success of this project in the hope that it will usher in a new era of greener shipping,” says Anbros director George Angelakis.
“We applaud Anbros for joining this project and select-ing the Aghia Marina, the largest vessel to embrace our technology to date. We are confident that this partner-ship will lead to further devel-opments and, in particular, see great potential to incorporate our technology on even larger ships in the future,” adds SkySails MD Stephen Wrage.