The idea of utilizing the wind to propel ships is not new, in fact, wind-powered ships were the primary means of water transportation for centuries. However, the development of steam and diesel engines led to the decline of wind-powered vessels.
According to BBC, a cargo ship fitted with a giant, British-designed special wind-powered sails is set to embark on its first trip. The ship, Pyxis Ocean, is the first of its kind to use this type of technology. The WindWings sail (image below), manufactured by UK firm BAR Technologies, uses wind power to help propel the ship forward, reducing the amount of fuel being consumed.
The Pyxis Ocean is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% compared to a conventional cargo ship. This will help to reduce carbon emissions and, it’s also expected to be significantly quieter than a diesel-powered vessel, making it more environmentally friendly.
The Pyxis Ocean is 123ft tall and the sail is built of the same material as wind turbines. The ship will take its first real world test by journeying from China to Brazil. If successful, the Pyxis Ocean could pave the way for the development of a new generation of wind-powered cargo ships.
Will the Pyxis Ocean be a success? Will it lead to the development of a new generation of wind-powered cargo ships?