The MC Shipping kamsarmax vessel Pyxis Ocean had been retrofitted with two large solid wind sails, developed by BAR Technologies, called WindWings.

Working with partner BAR Technologies, Cargill installed WindWings on the kamsarmax vessel that they are chartering from MC Shipping.

The installation was done at COSCO, in Shanghai, China in 2023. Now BAR Technolgies and Cargill estimate an annual average savings of 3 tonnes of fuel reductions per day.

Cargill shared yesterday the outcome of the six-month test period of the Pyxis Ocean.

According to Cargill, the technology “has achieved performance consistent with what was predicted which is equivalent to an average of 3 tonnes of fuel per day.”

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business, said: “We are encouraged by the results and have learned a great deal about implementing wind assisted propulsion on dry bulk vessels.”

The vessel Pyxis Ocean hit open waters in August 2023 and during the first six months of testing it has sailed the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, North and South Atlantic, and passed Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.

The ship was retrofitted with two WindWings, which measure 37,5 meters in height and resemble large airplane wings.

The wings are installed vertically to catch the wind and propel the ship forward, allowing the ship’s engine to be turned down so that the ship can travel at the same speed as a conventional ship using less fuel. 

The wings are controlled by a touch panel on the bridge. A simple traffic light system tells the crew when to raise or lower the sails. Once raised, the operation is fully automated with sensors onboard constantly measure the wind, and the sails self-adjust to the optimal configuration.

According to Cargill, during optimal sailing conditions, the Pyxis Ocean achieved savings of more than 11t/day in fuel consumption, which translates to 41t/day less CO2e emitted well-to-wake, or a 37% emissions savings.

John Cooper, chief executive of BAR Technologies noted: “The results of the Pyxis Ocean’s first voyage with WindWings® installed clearly demonstrate that wind assisted propulsion can secure significant fuel savings and emissions reduction.

“For example, in near optimum sailing conditions, during an open sea voyage, the Pyxis Ocean achieved fuel savings of 11 tonnes per day. And while the Pyxis Ocean has two WindWings®, we anticipate the majority of kamsarmax vessels will carry three wings, further increasing the fuel savings and emissions reductions by a factor of 1.5.”

Video credit: Cargill