Kite sailing and hauling

I have been following the German start-up SkySails for some time. It´s such a fascinating idea. Now they found their first customer: the Beluga Shipping GmbH in Bremen, Germany. (image: Skysails)

Green Car Congress: Beluga Shipping to Try Wind Hybrid Kite Propulsion Assist for Cargo Vessel: “The SkySails system consists of a large towing kite similar to a paraglider of up to 5,000 m2 in area, which is connected to the ship via a towing rope, and managed by a fully automatic control pod. Route optimization software helps chart a course designed to maximize the wind power benefit.The cross-sectional profile of the aerofoil is adjustable via the use of compressed air to achieve optimal aerodynamic properties at all wind speeds and under various weather conditions. At very high wind speeds the performance of the aerofoil can be reduced without having to reduce the area. (No “hauling in” sails.)

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