ClassNK has granted an approval in principle (AIP) based on its Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships and related regulations to Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and Airbus subsidiary Airseas for its automated wind-assisted propulsion system.
The bow-mounted system will be a kite system which assists vessel propulsion by harnessing natural wind power through its dynamic flight. A simple switch can launch or recover the kite which could unfold, operate, and refold autonomously.
The system will also collect and analyse meteorological and oceanic data in real-time, then adapt its flight to this information in order to optimise its performance as well as to ensure maximum safety.
Both K Line and Airseas had earlier confirmed that an unnamed bulk carrier will be the first vessel in the K Line fleet to be fitted with the kite system.
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