Kite-Powered Ships


From the Telegraph via Neatorama

Inventor Stephan Warge has devised a 160 sq meter kite, based on kitesurfing rigs, that can be attached to commercial ships to reduce diesel consumption. Warge figures the SkySail can reduce fuel consumption by 20% ($1600 a day). The new sail will be tested this Tuesday aboard the 462ft cargo vessel MS Beluga on a voyage from Germany to Venezuela.

You can view a great animation of the whole deployment and utilization process here.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

3 Replies to “Kite-Powered Ships”

  1. i wouldn’t like to be in one of those during some kind of storm. (or any boat, for that matter)

  2. Having been on a 54′ fishing boat in 12′ seas during a tropical storm, I can say with some authority that I’d take a 462′ ship over a small boat any day! In all seriousness, the first thought for those ships in bad weather is safety, cargo, then cost savings, and in that order — my guess is that these sails would be stowed by the ships during anything but (relatively) flat seas.

  3. i never saw thing like that. Wow, amazing… masterminds :) Im not sure about full trip working but we will see. 160 sq/m not so big. On the picture looking bigger

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