- Title: NETHERLANDS: Ocean-going trawler gets helping hand from history
- Date: 12th March 2010
- Summary: IJMUIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English), STEPHAN BRABECK, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR SKYSAILS, SAYING: "Skysail system is working like a wing of an aeroplane, so we fly this kite with relatively high speed, between 80 and 160 miles per hour, so we get very high lift force on the surface of his kite, which is equal to about 2500 m2 of a normal sailing boat."
- Embargoed: 27th March 2010 17:12
- Location: Netherlands
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA8VJSGXEFREUROJYBA3HUBU84B
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Old-fashioned wind-powered sailing is back in business to cut the fuel costs in the fishing industry. It is the first time the technique of flying an industrial-sized paraglider has been tried on a modern trawler and its developers hope it will have a significant impact on the vessel's energy consumption.
Despite its weight, Germany's largest fishing vessel is being towed by a giant kite that will help cut its fuel consumption by up to a third.
The 15,000 tonne 'Maartje Theadora' is the first fishing vessel to use the system, in which a 160 square metre blue and white kite, similar to a paraglider, pulls the ship on a 300 metre rope, assisting its main engine.
"Skysail system is working like a wing of an aeroplane, so we fly this kite with relatively high speed, between 80 and 160 miles per hour, so we get very high lift force on the surface of his kite, which is equal to about 2500 m2 of a normal sailing boat," said SkySails, Stephan Brabeck.
It harks back to an earlier maritime age, when merchant ships navigated the world's oceans completely under sail. Steam power eventually replaced sails, cutting travel times and making it more predictable.
Parlevlet said the SkySails system is expected to cut Maartje Theadora's fuel consumption by about 10 percent in the first phase of the pilot project, supported by about 780,000 euros of funding from the European Union and Germany.
"We know that during sailing from A to B, the sail is working, but the challenge for us is to see how it works during trawling, because then the ship is not moving from A to B but it's turning and moving around, there we have to find out how good it is working so it's really a pilot project, but we are confident it can work," said Diederik Parlevliet, head of fishing firm Parlevliet & Van der Plas, operator of the ship.
Some cargo ships already use the kite system, in development since 2005, but it could be particularly well suited for fishing trawlers, which travel slowly during fishing operations.
Over the next two years of development, Parlevliet said fuel savings through the system, which would also cut greenhouse gas emissions, were projected to increase to up to 30 percent.
The kite, which can be used at wind speeds from 18 knots, can add 1,000 kilowatts (kW) of power to the ship's 8,000 kW engine. SkySails hopes to eventually double the system's power.
Global fisheries account for about 1 percent of world oil consumption, and emit more than 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, according to marine environment protection group Seas At Risk.
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