Sail Freight International
Sail Freight International was the first company in this country to successfully use auxiliary wind propulsion system on modern merchant ships. Today we are still the only company in the world who has used AWP cost-effectively. The system was called COMSAIL and was used during the energy crisis in the early 1980s. Today we have improved our AWP system significantly. The new AWP system is called the COMSAIL Wing; it is fully automatic, provides real-time thrust analysis, has a lift coefficient six times greater and a utilization rate 20% greater. We already have a degree of interest from the shipping community so we are now looking to file two Utility Patents – one mechanical and the other for software. Provisional Patents have been filed but the Utility Patents must be completed by 1 September.
Ninety percent of everything moves my ship at some point. SFI will be looking to put AWP on tankers and gearless bulk carriers. The cost of fuel on these vessels is 70-80% of operating costs. The IMO and the USCG are pressuring ship owners to reduce GHG emissions – ships are the sixth largest emitters of GHG in the world, behind China, Russia, India and Japan. Some ports are forcing ships to switch to shore-power while in port and lighter fuels while entering ports. There are very few options to reduce fuel consumption on ships. They include 1) traveling slower, 2) better hull coatings and 3) small adjustments to the main engine. In brief, the shipping industry needs to find a way to reduce fuel consumption and wind is one of the ways to do it; it is the only way to power a ship without increasing GHG emissions.
Capt. Anderson, a principal of SFI, wrote his graduate thesis on how to equate hull roughness in terms of energy savings. This same technology will be used in one of the two utility patents being filed. The money will be used to cover the Patent filings and some of the overhead.
Products / Services
Auxiliary Wind Propulsion for modern merchant ships
Of all the ways to use wind technology on ships, the vertical wing creates the most lift (thrust), can be retro-fit easily onto existing ships (tankers and bulk carriers) with little or no work under the deck and is fully automatic. While the shipping industry is very far removed from AWP in 2014 the effectiveness of wings can be seen by looking at how the vessels preformed in the recent America’s Cup completion where yacht speeds of 50 MPH plus were obtained. This same thrust, when used on large tankers and bulk carriers, can easily be used to reduce fuel consumption 20% on an annualized basis. The wings will be made and installed in licensed shipyards around the world.