The Japanese shipping company Marubeni is to equip the CRIMSON KINGDOM, its Panamax-class bulk carrier (229 metres long and 85,000 tonnes deadweight) with turbosails built by the Spanish company Bound4blue. It is to be fitted with four 26-metre high turbosails, the largest ever installed on a ship. The fuel savings (and therefore lower carbon dioxide emissions) are expected to be around 20%.
The Bound4blue company is taking over the turbosail system developed by Frenchman Jean-Yves Cousteau in the early 1980s. The ALCYONE, which came out of the “Ateliers et Chantiers de La Rochelle-Pallice” in 1985, was an experimental oceanographic vessel and the first to be equipped with two turbosails.
The sail is a vertical cylinder with an oval cross-section and is equipped with a flap and a fan to suck in the air flowing on the upper surface (leeward side of the sail), which generates a very important lift to propel the ship. The system takes advantage of the apparent wind encountered by the vessel to generate additional thrust and save fuel while reducing its pollutant emissions.