Shipowners and operators may be able to decrease their fuel-related costs and pollutant emissions up to 30%, thanks to a new system created by Bound4blue.
The Spanish company aims at delivering automated wind assisted propulsion systems (also called wingsails) that can be integrated onto a wide range of vessels. The project was founded by Cristina Aleixendri, David Ferrer and José Miguel Bermúdez.
“The three of us are aeronautical engineers, which clearly served as the foundation of the technology developed,” Bermúdez says. “We found soft sails installed in sailing boats or yachts, but none in commercial vessels. We believed we could apply our knowledge in aeronautics to build a high-lift device for the shipping industry adapted to its requirements, that could be the solution to the two showstopper challenges they are facing: high fuel operating expenses and emissions reduction pressure from international entities.”
Ship strikes are a leading cause of whale deaths worldwide and kill more than 80 fin, humpback, and blue whales on the U.S. west coast each year. Many of these ships are enormous – waterborne towers that are often unable to detect whales or their spouts.
This has led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish speed reduction programs along both coasts to protect endangered right whales in the Atlantic Ocean (via “Right Whale Slow Zones”) and humpback, gray and blue whales in the Pacific Ocean (through a voluntary speed reduction program). These measures are highly effective at preventing vessels from fatally colliding with whales by 80 – 90 percent, but are not adopted by all maritime ships.
“One of our goals is to provide real-time whale presence data that will help