K Line gains approval for wind propulsion tech

Japanese shipping company K Line, in conjunction with French company Airseas, has been granted Approval In Principle (AIP) by classification company ClassNK for the data-responsive ‘Seawing’ kite system for vessel propulsion assistance.

The AIP for the kite technology, which converts wind energy into propulsive force with its flying kite, has been granted in line with ClassNK’s Wind Assisted Propulsion Systems guidelines.

A switch on the vessel launches or recovers the kite, which unfolds, operates and refolds autonomously. The Seawing system collects and analyses meteorological and oceanic data in real-time during a voyage, then adapts its flight parameters to this information in order to optimise performance.

With the AIP in place, K Line says that the initial design related to the kite structure and controls has now been completed, and it can move forward with Airseas into further development and detailed engineering of the technology, with the goal of preparing for installation and operation of the system on the first K Line vessel.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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