Smart Green Shipping Alliance (SGSA) has announced plans to develop a prototype digital tool that will enable the accurate quantification of available wind for any ship, on any route.
The SGSA will receive a grant from the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK) as part of a business support package following SGSA’s acceptance into the ESA.
The digital evaluation software system will provide projected annual fuel savings accrued by retrofitting any ship with SGSA’s FastRig wingsail technology or by integrating the technology in to a newbuild ship design. The digital tool will allow users to quantify potential fuel savings for any ship, sailing specified routes at different speeds.
Therefore, when commercially available, the software system will give shipowners and operators a trusted verification platform with the data required to analyse the commercial benefit of installing SGSA’s FastRig wingsail technology. Use of the tool will also enable parties to negotiate contracts to finance the technology with increased confidence.
Additionally, the digital tool could function as a design support tool for naval architects developing new technologies and vessel designs that make use of wind assisted solutions. For shipowners operating ships equipped with SGSA’s FastRig wingsail technology, the tool can also provide operational support information.
Receipt of the ESA BIC UK support package is of key strategic importance for SGSA’s long-term goal of launching a 100 per cent renewable energy-powered autonomous ship in 2030. The digital evaluation software system to be designed by SGSA will serve as the platform that delivers the intelligence to power the autonomous ship’s AI auto-call-off system.
Development of the digital tool will be undertaken at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Atlas Centre at the Harwell Campus in Oxford, UK. The prototype will be finalised by February 2020, after which time it will be deployed for market testing by project partners. By August 2020, SGSA will have completed the comprehensive business plan and established a realistic 10-year roll-out strategy for the digital tool.
“This new digital tool is being designed to be the digital enabler to accelerate the much-needed uptake of wind ships,” said Diane Gilpin, CEO and founder of Smart Green Shipping Alliance.
“The development of this digital tool represents a new phase in our efforts to support ship owners assessing the commercial viability of installing wind-assist solutions on their ships. Our aim is to accelerate the uptake of this vital short term zero carbon propulsion solution in order to help fleet decarbonisation,” added Ms Gilpin.