BV Releases Modern Rules for Wind Propulsion Systems

classificiation rules updated for wind proplussion
Design concept for wind propulsion shipping (courtesy of AYRO)

Published Mar 15, 2021 5:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

Reflecting the growing interest in wind propulsion systems, classification society Bureau Veritas developed a new-generation of classification rules for these systems. These rules are designed to modernize the process for planning and maintenance pertaining to sail power to reflect advancements in the technology and to help support and drive the development of zero-carbon propulsion options for modern ships. They are also part of an effort by Bureau Veritas to address the challenges of sustainability and the energy transition.

The new Bureau Veritas rule notation for WIND PROPULSION SYSTEMS (WPS) – NR 206, builds on pre-existing BV rules released in 1987. Now two new notations have been issued to provide the classification requirements for modern wind-powered ships: WPS 1 for standing rigging and WPS 2 for standing and running rigging. Both provide load cases and coefficients for all types of wind propulsion technologies including free standing rigs, wing sails, kite sails, and wind turbines.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the industry as we revive an ancient, powerful, and endlessly renewable source of energy - but with all the benefits of modern technology and materials,” said Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas. “We know that the power of the wind, even if it is not always available, can make a significant contribution to GHG free ship propulsion and ship design. Wind propulsion systems can play a significant auxiliary role in providing substantial propulsive energy and, in some cases, wind could be used for main propulsion requirements. Bureau Veritas is currently involved in a wide range of wind propulsion projects and all stakeholders are increasing their understanding as we make progress.”

According to BV, the new rules provide the key classification framework for wind-assisted propulsion. At the design review stage, they note that safety and interactions with other systems onboard must be addressed. For in-service life, the rules address survey regime and maintenance requirements.  

General requirements that must be addressed include:   

  • Risk analysis / hazard identification (HAZID) studies
  • Definition of load cases and critical situations
  • Definition of automation and release system
  • Definition of wind propulsion system impacts on ship safety
  • Ship strength; influence on hull girder strength, addressing bending moments and shear forces
  • local strength in way of connections between wind propulsion systems and the ship including the mast footings, boom, deck, standing rigging attachments to the ship, and maneuvering systems

The rules also require an operational manual including limitations of operation of wind propulsion systems in accordance with its design, such as wind speed limitations.

“We are pleased to see Bureau Veritas’s continuous involvement and support in innovation and in the decarbonization of shipping with the release of these new rules. These technical guidelines will help us in the development of our Oceanwings and their application onboard cargo vessels,” said Ludovic
Gérard, CEO of AYRO.

BV has also been collaborating with Chantiers de l ‘Atlantique on the yard’s concept for solid sails made of rigid panels and using Aeoldrive balestron rigging.

In 2021, BV also plans to release new rules that will address methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen as marine fuels, including fuel cell applications.