Capturing wind energy to power cargo ships

By Meera Dolasia on January 21, 2008

High energy prices and a desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, have led two German Companies to combine forces and try harness the oldest and cheapest source of energy - the wind. 

The companies have developed a high-tech kite system, which will use computer-guided technology to pull large cargo ships across the oceans.

The first cargo ship to try this is the "MV Beluga Sky Sails, a 433ft (132 meter), cargo ship. The ship will make its first journey this month and go across the Atlantic to Venezuela (S. America) up to Boston (USA), and then back to Europe. A giant kite tethered (anchored), to a 15-meter high mast will pull the ship.

In order to get the maximum benefit of the most powerful winds, which are usually high above the surface of the water, the kite flies up to 300 meters high and helps tug the 10,000 tonnes ship forward, cutting down fuel consumption.

When the winds are strong, the sails are expected to cut fuel consumption by almost 20 percent or more and therefore also reduce pollution.

These sails are not cheap however, each one costing 500,000 euros or about $725,000 USD. But the manufacturer believes that the significant savings in fuel costs and the desire by companies to reduce pollution, will drive demand for their product. The video shows the "MV Beluga SkySails" being tugged along by the giant kite.

Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
to use your custom avatar.
  • lunamoonamare
    The kite looks a little small, and I agree with Kendall.
    • Kendall Lennon3/15/2014
      These kites are a good idea, but, if the winds are to strong couldn't the kite break off of the ship?
      • gracy2/6/2014
        • Creeper4566 1/31/2014
          This was a cool thing to study
          • Flack1/30/2014
            OMG THAT IS SO COOL!!!!!
            • jacobogmediaarts
              It is a good idea to convert wind energy to electrical energy because it is cheap and it also reduces pollution in the ocean and the cost of fuels.
              • noah4/11/2013
                I like this idea for the kite to pull the ship. Even if there is little wind they have fuel to keep going. It would be a huge let-down if it malfunctioned. It also cuts down on pollution instead of a giant pipe blowing out smoke. Although it is expensive, fuel I think would build up and eventually cost more then the kite did. Ships burn about $99,000 worth of fuel each day.
                • kaleb knows all4/11/2013
                  i wonder how the kite pulls that giant ship with out the line breaking that is very interesting how it works and how the boat isn't polluting the air but what is bad about it is that it costs alot so therefore the ship is so huge and the kite is so tiny its just so unbelievable
                  • lelani4/11/2013
                    this is really interesting and its great that it reduces pollution ehats also interesting is how it uses computer-guided technology
                    • Neiliworm4/11/2013
                      This is very interesting. Why haven't people thought of this before? It helps our pollution problem just a little bit. But, what if there isn't any wind? the ship wouldn't go anywhere. Finally, even though this is a good idea, it's pretty expensive.

                      Most Popular Articles

                      Candy That Doesn't Cause Cavities? Sweet!
                      9/11/2001 - The Day Americans Came Together
                      Candy That Doesn't Cause Cavities? Sweet!
                      9/11/2001 - The Day Americans Came Together
                      Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Lava Inches Toward Homes
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - If Frozen Was A Horror Movie . . .

                      Latest Comments