Viking Line’s M/S Viking Grace has been fitted with a rotor sail for the utilization of wind power, becoming the world’s first passenger ship to feature the technology. The rotor sail developed by Finnish company Norsepower Oy is expected to cut fuel consumption and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 900 metric tons annually.
The unit is nearly 24 m (79 feet high) and about 4 m (13 feet) in diameter, and is automated: it will shut down if there are disadvantageous changes in the wind’s force or direction. The cylindrical rotor sail is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor — a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship.
The LNG-fueled Viking Grace is now deployed on wind-assisted voyages between Turku, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden. Viking Line plans to install two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard a new-build cruise ferry vessel that is currently being built in China and due to be operational in 2020.