BY BLUEWATER ENGINEERING
ZERO CARBON. ZERO CAPITAL.
MAXIMUM WIND POWER.
SKYTUG is a zero carbon propulsion solution for ships, old and new, large and small.
It is a wind-propelled ocean tug, which offers a breakthrough solution to the technology adoption dilemma, because it can offer clean propulsion as a service, without the need for shipowners to invest in the installation, maintenance and operation of complex technology.
SKYTUG can also provide up to 100% of ships' propulsion on passage. It has three intended sizes: Handy, Panamax and Capesize; each will carry sufficient kite power to tow a ship of the corresponding category at full speed, even in low wind speeds.
"All Ships, All Ships, All Ships..."
SKYTUG offers the power of the wind without the inconvenience of ship-based installations. No compromises on cargo space, cargo handling, stability, air draught or harbour manoeuvring. No capital required up front, nor any downtime for installation, maintenance and repairs. Simply rendezvous with a SKYTUG outbound, enjoy thousands of low-carbon sea miles and cast off on approach to destination, paying only for the service, not the equipment.
Freedom from spatial constraints gives SKYTUG the room to pack a powerful kite array, far beyond the limits of that which could be stowed aboard ship. This, coupled with patent-pending systems technology, is what enables it to provide full-speed propulsion for ships, using only the wind.
SKYTUG services can be competitive with fossil fuels, saving costs as well as carbon, for ships in the existing fleet. Its flexibility and ease of commercial engagement gives it access to a £100bn+ propulsive energy market.
SKYTUG can give an even greater competitive edge for ships fuelled by new green fuels, greatly reducing the fuel bill in an era of change when the propulsive energy market could exceed £500bn.
The primary market for SKYTUG is bulk carriers and tankers of Handymax scale and above. Ro-Ro vessels can also benefit from wind propulsion, and in future, container ships could make significant savings by reducing speed and hiring SKYTUG towing services; in fact, SKYTUG is the only known solution that can provide primary wind propulsion for container ships, due to deck space constraints.
DECARBONISING SHIPPING - WHY WIND?
An independent energy source.
Wind is readily available at sea. Useable wind speeds exist about 80% of the time, more on some windier routes. When used directly, it can be a surprisingly economical resource, competing with established fuels. It is also available at the point of use, with no need for shore-based distribution infrastructure, giving users energy independence. Electrification is not an option aboard oceangoing ships; batteries are simply not space-efficient for long voyages. Future green fuels could be derived from renewable electricity, but losses in transmission, conversion to fuel, storage, transport and re-conversion for propulsion mean that those fuels are expected to be many times more expensive than current bunker prices. Green fuels have an important role to play in decarbonising shipping, but ought to be used sparingly for the sake of efficiency and cost, with direct wind propulsion providing most of the power and giving its users a competitive advantage.
The last few years have seen a surge in momentum for decarbonising the maritime sector. Shipping consumes over 250 million tonnes of heavy hydrocarbon fuel each year, emitting masses of black carbon, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and CO2. National and supranational governments, shipping companies, charterers, financiers, international organisations and NGOs have been active in setting new targets and new standards to push towards zero carbon shipping. The Poseidon Principles, Sea Cargo Charter, EEDI/EEXI, EU Emissions Trading Scheme, UK Clean Maritime Plan and many other initiatives are incentivising and encouraging progress towards clean shipping; there is also high-level support for a substantial carbon levy. The USA is coming on board, as are other key maritime nations, and many companies in the sector are making their own net zero plans. Yet there are great challenges ahead; infrastructure investments must be made, technology must be adopted, preferred fuels must be chosen. The market is, for now, awash with uncertainty.
Wind is the only renewable energy resource currently available at scale to the global fleet. That, and the urgent need for action on climate change, has led the International Windship Association and its many member companies to declare the 2020s 'the decade of wind propulsion.' In fact, wind is likely to be a major source of propulsion for shipping far beyond 2030. Looking back from the future, the age of coal and oil may seem like a brief diversion from the advancement of wind technology. The challenge lies in harnessing wind's power, to which end, many different projects are under way to provide ships with assistive wind propulsion. Some are indeed gaining popularity and being installed in increasing numbers, in particular Flettner rotors and rigid wing sails.
Shipboard systems, however, are limited by space constraints, and cannot feasibly provide more than a small fraction of the propulsive power for a large, heavily loaded modern cargo vessel. They are useful for certain shipowners, and on certain routes, especially in busy regional waters, but on the open sea, SKYTUG is the obvious choice.
GET IN ToUCH!