The innovative SkySails Propulsion System uses wind energy to reduce fuel costs and emission levels.
SkySails GmbH is a midsized innovative company from Hamburg, Germany. It is the market and technology leader in the field of automated towing kite systems. Wind is the cheapest, most powerful and greenest source of energy on the high seas. SkySails’ Propulsion Systems are installed on cargo vessels, fishing trawlers and leisure yachts and make use of the vast potential of these high-altitude winds. With this modern technology, next to lower fuel consumption, the emission levels of international cargo transport are significantly reduced. With soaring oil prices and a greater awareness of environmental issues, the kite system of SkySails has great potential.
The towing kite is a huge kite (e.g. 160m2) that will be unfold and launched when the vessel is leaving shore. It will climb to several hundred meters high, where the strongest winds can be found. The kite will be recovered once the vessel approaches the coastline again.
In order to compensate for swell during launch and retrieval of the kite, the Xsens MTi is mounted in the launch and recovery system. During the launch and recovery, the kite will be actively stabilized based on the accurate roll and pitch readings of the MTi. The SkySails system (and thus the MTi) is mounted on the forecastle of the ship to prevent using cargo space for the kite system, but this requires higher standards of the all components. SkySails explains: “Waves of saltwater crash on the forecastle as well as on the SkySails system; additionally there is salty air and high temperature fluctuations. It is one of the toughest product environments in the world. That’s why we use only the most reliable and robust parts within our products and thus the reason for choosing Xsens.”.
SkySails is very successfull with the SkySails Propulsion System. The company has been honoured with over 20 awards, amongst them 2 Sustainable Shipping Awards, a prestigious award supported by BIMCO, Lloyds Register and WWF.
Xsens is happy to have a customer this innovative that uses Xsens’ Motion Trackers in such an exciting application.