The shipping industry is responsible for around three percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions or about 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. These emissions continue to grow and could reach 17 percent or more by 2050 if business continues as usual.
But now some of the biggest names in the shipping industry are latching on to a very old idea to reduce their carbon footprints.
Sticking to the old idea of using the wind as a source of power, Airseas, a small Airbus start-up has developed the Seawing to harness the power of the wind to cut emissions by 20%.
Seawing combines kite technology with an automated flight control system developed by the aerospace industry. The system can be used easily by virtually any ship to reduce emissions.
A High-Tech Twist On centuries-old sailing ship technology
The system is not quite as simple as it sounds. The Seawing is designed to fly in a figure-eight pattern to harvest 10 times the available wind power. Former engineers from aerospace giant Airbus SE applied their aerospace know-how at Airseas to design a fully automatic flight system for the sail.
The company says, the device is capable of cutting shipping fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 20%, or as much as 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually,
Airseas takes kite sail Seawing from concept to reality
Airseas has issued the first pictures and video footage of its automated kite system Seawing in action on a cargo ship chartered by Airbus for transatlantic sea trials.
The Seawing system can be seen in action here, flying 200 meters above sea level, harnessing the power of the wind to propel the vessel to reduce the engine load.