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Cargo Sails

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Published: 10.13.2017
Level 4   |   Time: 3:51
Accent: American, Finnish, British
Source: VICE (10.11.2017)

From VICE News, The Shipping Industry may finally be turning to Wind Power.


    

triangle Directions


  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary


  • merchant ships [n] - transport ships
  • contribute [v] - give
  • emissions [n] - pollution, CO2
  • industrialized [adj] - country that has large industries
  • an industry [n] - a category of business
  • the environmental impact [exp] - the influence on the evironment
  • Finnish [adj] - from Finland
  • aimed at [exp] - it has a goal of
  • reducing [v] - making smaller
  • cylinders [n] - see image
  • innovation [n] - positive change, invention
  • a startup [n] - a new company
  • specialize [v] - focus on
  • green technology [n] - technology that is good for the environment
  • thrust [n] - energy to move
  • mechanical sails [n] - see image
  • efficient [adj] - high result, low effort
  • a principle [n] - a law of science
  • pressure [n] - force, push
  • rear [n] - back part
  • axis [n] - see image
  • differential [n] - amount of difference
  • viable [adj] - useful
  • 400 tons [n] - 800,000 pounds (363,000 kilograms)
  • rougly [adv] - about, approximately
  • fleet [n] - group of ships
  • tanker [n] - type of ship
  • potentially [adv] - possibly
  • commercial driver [exp] - business/financial motivation
  • mature [v] - grow, develop
  • ensure [v] - gaurantee
  • an incentive [n] - a motivation, reason
  • alternative [adj] - different, new

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression


triangle Questions


  1. How many merchant ships are in the world's oceans?
    5,000
    15,000
    50,000
    55,000

  2. How much international trade is done through shipping?
    9%
    19%
    90%
    99%

  3. What percentage of the CO2 emissions come from shipping?
    2%
    2.2%
    22%
    22.2%

  4. What is the Estrada?
    a Finnish cargo ship
    a finished cargo ship
    a finished cart shipped
    a Finnish cargo ship from Australia

  5. How is the Estrada involved in an experiment?
    They are trying to reduce travel time.
    They are trying to build huge cylinders.
    They are trying to reduce shipping amounts.
    They are trying to reduce the amount of fuel used.

  6. What is Norsepower? (Check all that apply.)
    a Finnish company
    a new company
    a company that focuses on technology for the environment
    the company that built the cylinders

  7. Why are the rotor sails better than mechanical sails?
    They are less expensive.
    They produce more 'lift' or 'thrust'.
    They use less space.
    They are safer.

  8. What is the result of the Magnus effect?
    The boat uses less fuel.
    The boat can move without fuel.
    The boat is lifted higher in the water.
    The boat can turn faster.

  9. How big will the sails on the Maersk tanker be?
    30 meters
    13 meters
    80 meters
    18 meters

  10. Why are there not many rotor sails on ships today?
    The technology is not ready.
    The technology is too expensive.
    There is no motivation.
    Oil companies are blocking them.


triangle Discussion


  1. Do you think installing rotor sails on all cargo ships is a good way to reduce emissions? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think most shipping companies are not using the technology?
  3. What other industries need newer technologies to help reduce carbon emissions?
  4. How do you think these industries will change/not change in the future?

triangle Script


There are close to 50,000 merchant ships in the world's oceans they transport 90% of international trade and contribute 2.2 percent of emissions to the atmosphere. That's as much as a large industrialized nation.

But the shipping industry doesn't have any plans to reduce its huge environmental impact and nobody's forcing it to.

The Estrada is a Finnish cargo ship that sails the North Sea six times a week. But it's not just any ship. For the past three years it's been at the center of an experiment aimed at reducing shipping fuel consumption; and those huge cylinders that sit on top of it, known as rotor sails, are the innovation that's making this possible. Thomas risky is the CEO of Norsepower, a Finnish startup that specializes in green technology for the shipping industry. It's the company that built the cylinders.

These are Norsepower rotor sails; so they are producing forward thrust to the ship as mechanical sails and saving in the fuel cost of the ship. It just doesn't look like a sail or like a wing. We can produce the same lift with a lot smaller sail area. So this is the most efficient way to build a sail.

The principle that allows this to work is called the Magnus effect. When wind hits the cylinders they spin really fast. That movement creates a difference in pressure between the front and the rear of each cylinder - which is exactly what happens with airplane wings just on a different axis. So in this case, the pressure differential pushes the ship forward. The end result is that the Estrada uses less fuel than it would without the sails.

The first rotor sails were built in the 1920s but it wasn't until recently that materials became advanced enough to make them economically viable.

How much fuel do you save when these rotor sales are going full power?

In long term average to save roughly 400 tons of fuel per year; That's equaling more than 1,000 tons of co2 emissions per a year. On an average trip how much money do these sales actually save the owners of the ship?

Roughly 400 USD per everyday 400 dollars per day might not sound like a lot for a shipping company; but if you're saving that much every day across an entire fleet it could have a real impact in a business like shipping which has seen huge losses in recent years.

We are for example fitting a tanker owned by Maersk - biggest shipping company of the world in the next year with two pieces of 30-meter rotor sails. So those are huge. These are only 18 meters tall per piece.

Tristan Smith is a low-carbon shipping researcher at University College London.

Could we potentially one day see a ship powered by these rotor sails and biofuels and not have any kind of heavy fuel oil involved at all.

We could do that today. The technology is - I mean this in some ways this is why it's so frustrating to see how slowly things are moving because none of the technology needed to make a zero-emission ship does not exist today in some form. The problem is that the commercial driver to ensure that the investment goes into mature the technologies, just isn't there at the moment. Without clear regulation that says this is how fast we're moving, this is when you're going to meet these standards, and without a very high oil price, there isn't the incentive to move to the alternative solutions.

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