Sunday, November 09, 2008

Clearly China is Slowing


but if they build some ships with Solar Sailor technology that would be undeniably cool.
Cargo ships to sail solar

Solar-powered sails the size of a jumbo jet's wings will be fitted to cargo ships, after a Sydney renewable energy company signed a deal with China's biggest shipping line.

The Chatswood-based Solar Sailor group has designed the sails, which can be retro-fitted to existing tankers.

The aluminium sails, 30 metres long and covered with photovolatic panels, harness the wind to cut fuel costs by between 20 and 40 per cent, and use the sun to meet five per cent of a ship's energy needs.

China's COSCO bulk carrier will fit the wings to a tanker ship and a bulker ship under a memorandum of understanding with the Australian company, which demonstrates the technology on a Sydney Harbour cruise boat.

"It's hard to predict a time line but at some point in the future, I can see all ships using solar sails - it's inevitable," said the company's chief executive, Dr Robert Dane.

Once fitted, the sails can pay for themselves in fuel savings within four years, Dr Dane said. They don't require special training to operate, with a computer linked in to a ship's existing navigation system, and sensors automatically angling the sails to catch a breeze and help vessels along.
I'm a sucker for this kind of thing.


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