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Container Ships: Flettner rotor ship returns to service

European wind turbine manufacturer Enercon has returned its turbine transporting vessel E-Ship 1 to operation after taking the vessel out of service for almost a year to have its seven Mitsubishi diesel generator sets replaced by Caterpillar units.

Although the 12,800dwt vessel is primarily diesel/electric-driven, she uses the exhaust heat from the diesels to power a Siemens steam turbine that generates electricity used to spin her four 27m high by 4m wide Flettner rotors. The rotors use the Magnus effect to help propel the ship forward. Prior to experiencing engine difficulties, E-Ship 1 had archived fuel savings of approximately 25 per cent compared to a conventional vessel.

In addition to her rotors, the 426ft by 73ft ship utilises an Enercon-developed propeller and rudder assembly as well as a weather routing system that enables determination of the best course to take for optimum fuel savings. JS

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