The shipping forecast: wind power technology, weather models, and fuel savings

M Traut, P. Gilbert

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Wind power is one shipping technology category that could deliver a step change in fuel efficiency. In contrast with other proposed low carbon solutions, implementing wind power technology is not contingent on any technological breakthroughs. Yet sails, towing kites, Flettner rotors, and other wind power applications do not play a significant role in commercial shipping. In order to bring technologies to market it is essential to - as accurately as possible - estimate and demonstrate (and maximise) fuel savings. One of the key aspects is data on the availability of the energy source, i.e. wind velocity data along the relevant shipping lanes. This paper combines wind data from different weather models with numerical performance models of wind power technologies to calculate the wind power contribution along a sample shipping lane. The different data sources are comparatively assessed with respect to their suitability for estimating wind power savings on an individual voyage; for estimating expected average savings for a given route or voyage profile; and for the purpose of route optimisation with the objective of minimising fuel consumption. Differences between the various data sources are discussed with a view to the skill of the models and, in turn, the reliability of the results. This study addresses a timely and relevant issue, provisioning an important factor in the push to explore and exploit the potential of wind as a renewable, zero carbon energy source of shipping in the face of a changing climate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationhost publication
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
    EventShipping in changing climates: Provisioning the future - Liverpool
    Duration: 25 Jun 201426 Jun 2014


    ConferenceShipping in changing climates: Provisioning the future


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