KSOE Wins DNV Approval for its Version of Wing-Sail Propulsion

wing sail auxiliary propulsion
Rendering of the VLCC with the wings sails in place (Image courtesy of KSOE)

Published Jan 25, 2021 4:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE) took a step forward in the race to develop new auxiliary propulsion systems with the receipt of an Approval in Principle (AIP) from DNV GL for a wing-sail auxiliary propulsion system for ships. The new wing sail propulsion system can be installed on many types of vessels and is expected to further increase the efficiency of future ship operations.

The result of a joint research project between KSOE and SK Shipping, their wing sail design is 20 meters wide (65 feet) and stands 50 meters in height (164 feet). It would be installed vertically on both sides of the deck and rotates its wings according to the direction and intensity of the wind to provide auxiliary propulsion to the ship. The wing can be lowered to 10 meters (33 feet) in height, making it flexible in case of bad weather or when passing under lower obstacles.

“We are speeding up efforts to bring eco-friendly technologies to the market,” said Hyunjoon Shin, Head of the Future Ship Research Department at KSOE. According to the companies, the wing sail system will reduce fuel consumption by more than six percent. 

DNV GL noted that it has recently developed a standard for the certification of wind-assisted propulsion systems. DNV GL undertook the AIP by reviewing the initial drawings related to design loads, system responses, redundancies, and components submitted by KSOE, while SK Shipping provided their expertise and insights on the technology from an owner’s point of view.

“As a result of the joint research with two leaders of Korea's maritime cluster, it was a meaningful project to which we contributed our expertise. The wind propulsion for ships is an effective solution that helps meeting the IMO regulations for greener shipping. DNV GL is ready to deliver a wide range of related services for further projects," said Vidar Dolonen, DNV GL Regional Manager Korea & Japan.

The AIP is also another step towards awarding a ship DNV GL’s new additional class notation, WAPS (Wind Assisted Propulsion System). 

The project is the latest in a series of programs KSOE is taking to develop its capacities in new technologies to contribute to shipowners’ efforts to meet the goals to reduce emissions ad improve operating efficiencies.  Wind sails and rotors are one of the technologies being explored in the shipping industry. In Europe, a number of pilot programs are already underway to install and demonstrate some of these technologies on a range of types of ships.