CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power University of Tokyo Develops Metal Sails

Published on May 2nd, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen

4

University of Tokyo Develops Metal Sail System for Cargo Ships

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone
May 2nd, 2012 by
 
 
University of Tokyo Develops Metal Sails

The modern world is long past the days of depending on sails and wind power to drive ships from coast to coast — or at least it was, until the University of Tokyo developed a remarkable metal sail system.

Although hybrid freighters have been around for a while, and wind has been used as recently as 2008 to markedly reduce fuel costs (remember the MS Beluga Skysails?), the potential for the University of Tokyo’s ship to cut costs is even greater.

Also, More Ad Space!

Professor Uzawa Kiyoshi showed off a model of the UT Wind Challenger at the Sea Japan trade show in Tokyo last week, with particular attention drawn to the giant telescoping sails. When wind conditions are good, the giant sails would rise above the deck to take advantage of the winds, and then they would retract during inclement weather.

Each five-section sail, which Professor Uzawa compares to wings on a plane, would be 164 feet tall and 65 feet wide. The plans call for them to be made of a combination of aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic. Each of the sails would also be individually controlled to catch the wind at the best possible angle (by motors, rather than miles and miles of rope).

According to Professor Uzawa, fuel costs could be reduced by as much as one third; assuming a conservative 25% fuel savings, the cost of each $2.5-million UT Wind Challenger sail would be recovered in 5-10 years — great in the long run. Professor Uzawa plans to build a half-size prototype ship and start practical sea trials within a few years.

Source: cnet
Image: University of Toky

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.



  • Pingback: B9 Cargo Ship Uses Sails and Biogas Instead of Fossil Fuels

  • http://www.trident.edu/ Trident Online University

    Kudos to the University of Tokyo for working on this technology. Hopefully more future ships will use wind technology since it’s more environmentally conscious.

  • http://www.FuturaSolar.com/ Patrick

    Containerships (box boats) already have all that sail area in the form of cargo containers on deck. Car carrying ship are also built that tall. They already get this advantage by weather routing, keeping the wind (and current) abaft the beam as often as possible. Tankers and Bulk carriers would benefit, and it wouldn’t make much difference in their operations, they don’t keep much of a look-out and can’t bear to change course even if they saw something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/J.sejkora Jay Sejkora

    nice

Back to Top ↑