Information about Clean, Renewable Energy.

SkySails takes Flight

Maiden Voyage of SkySail
Sky Sail wind assist cargo transport technology
Photo Credit: SkySail

In December, 2006, Return to the Age of Sail, we first reported on SkySails. The concept is simple, use an enormous kite-sail in conjunction with conventional propulsion to reduce the fuel requirement for cargo ships. Rather than investing in masts and extensive rigging, the SkySails approach is to fly a kite sail (which resembles a modern parachute in design) up to a kilometer above the ship. At this height, wind speed is substantially higher yielding better wind power results.

In the maiden voyage of nearly 12,000 nautical miles, the reported performance was an aid of 20% resulting in a net savings of about 2.5 tons of fuel and more than $1,000 a day. This is our favorite kind of green project, it produces a good environmental benefit along with a strong tangible economic benefit.

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