Partners to study aerospace engineering technology for wind-powered vessels

MOL, MOL Tech-Trade (MOLTT), Tokai University and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) announced an agreement to start a joint study related to wind powered propulsion of vessels by application of aerospace engineering technologies.

MOL, MOLTT, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) have moved ahead with the adoption of their jointly developed “ISHIN ship design”, which reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using wind as propulsive force.

Now they will implement more advanced joint development aimed at optimizing the hull shape for wind-powered vessels, which adopts aerospace engineering technologies in ISHIN ship design, in collaboration with Dr. Kota Fukuda, Associate Professor at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tokai University, Japan.

Adoption of “ISHIN ship design” on the vessel can reduce GHG emissions by about 5% on the Asia-North America route, but targets a reduction of more than 12% by introducing aerodynamic technologies accumulated in the aerospace engineering field.

Dr. Kota Fukuda and his group have carried out fluid dynamics research on examination of flow phenomena around rockets and aircrafts, development of high-performance solar cars and solar unmanned airplanes, and further application of their own simulation technology to the medical field.

Through this joint study, they will expand their research fields to ship engineering and ocean-going vessel development.

The study was selected for the Japan Ship Machinery and Equipment Association (JSMEA) “2022 new product development subsidy program”, and efforts are underway to commercialize the R&D results for the benefit of society with the subsidy from “The Nippon Foundation”.

Recently, MOL installed a hard sail system on board a bulk carrier developed under the Wind Challenger project at Oshima Shipbuilding.

The project aims to use wind as a propulsive force for merchant ships, and it is now ready to move to the commissioning stage and sea trials.

The hard sail-equipped vessel is expected to be delivered in October 2022, when it will start transporting cargoes for Tohoku Electric Power.

The introduction plan of a large-scale dry bulk vessel with a hard sail system was recently certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Specifically, it was certified as an “Introduction plan of a vessel with excellent environmental performance” under the Wind Challenger project.


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