It’s common knowledge that sea freight shipping involves the transport of goods and parcels in cargo ships which navigate the oceans or major rivers. Every day, thousands of trucks, cargo ships, and planes deliver goods all day long in order to transport products to consumers – albeit causing huge amounts of pollution.
Cargo ships however has always been considered one of the most affordable ways of transferring goods across the world, as airfreight is a lot more expensive, nevertheless faster for delivery of goods and all other forms of shipping are much more unreliable or expensive. Cargo ships are usually explicitly designed for particular tasks, often being equipped with enormous cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload huge amounts of cargo.
But herein lies the problem – in order to power those enormous ships, it requires extremely powerful diesel engines that are causing huge amounts of CO2 emissions– not to mention the costs for the diesel itself. It is estimated that cargo ships output about 1 billion of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year and are responsible for over 3% of worldwide CO2 emissions according to a study done by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) back in 2009. Adding insult to injury, the burning of heavy fuel creates mostly nitrogen oxides (NOx). Nitrogen oxides react with hydrocarbons (CnHm) in sunlight to form ozone and can possibly lead to smog. Sulphur oxides can aggravate respiratory disorders and are considered one of the contributing sources of acid rain. Ozone causes respiratory problems in humans and damages plant life.
As a youngster, you might have fooled around with kite flying as a favourite pass time. For children who are looking for new sober recreational activities to take up their time in the holidays, kite flying has always being an ideal sporting activity. In Asian countries kite flying is a very popular occasion, especially when a kite festival houses a kite fight. It is an especially popular pursuit in Thailand where the skies of Bangkok are frequently filled with various elaborate artistic kite creations. But one would never associate kites with wind energy!
Now this ancient invention can actually reduce the harmful emissions of these big shipping diesel polluters. A company called SkySails has created kite systems that will propel ships forward by means of wind energy via a kite.
Wind is the cheapest, most powerful, and greenest source of energy on the high seas.
Now, with SkySails, modern cargo ships can use the wind as a source of power – not only to lower fuel costs, but significantly reduce emission levels as well.
The worldwide patented SkySails propulsion system consists of three main components: a towing kite with rope, a launch and recovery system, and a control system for automated operation.
SkySails can be installed effortlessly as an auxiliary propulsion system on both new builds and existing vessels.