ClassNK grants AIP related to Wind Challenger Project

Source: press release, 3 October 2019

Wind Challenger vessel underway, with expanded hard sail, and in berth, with contracted hard sail
Wind Challenger vessel underway, with expanded hard sail, and in berth, with contracted hard sail (illustrations: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.)

Classification Society ClassNK has granted an Approval in Principle (AIP) based on its “Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships” and related regulations for the basic design of a hard sail system, which converts wind energy to propulsive force with a telescopic hard sail, and is a fundamental technology of the Wind Challenger Project that Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.(MOL) and Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. are spearheading.

The Wind Challenger Project started in 2009 with the “Wind Challenger Plan”, an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and in 2013, the team was chosen to receive a “Subsidy for Next-generation marine environment-related technology research” by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding took charge of the plan and now play a central role in this project.

Along with other participating organisations, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding have played a central role in research and development on the Wind Challenger Project, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using wind energy.

Meanwhile, ClassNK released its “Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems for Ships” in September 2019 in order to contribute to the safe integrity and design of this technology and the ships that are installed with it.

Upon receiving the application from MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding, ClassNK has reviewed the basic design of the hard sail system in line with relevant international conventions, ClassNK rules, and the above-mentioned guidelines. Following its successful completion, ClassNK granted an AIP for the basic design of the hard sail system, which marks the world’s first AIP based on the guidelines.

ClassNK will continue to support the smooth implementation of new technologies through its role as a third-party certification body.