The SkySails system, a huge computer-controlled kite that can tow cargo vessels and superyachts, reducing their fuel consumption by up to 30%, has been successfully tested this weekend.
The ship HV Beluga Skysails started its maiden voyage from the city of Hamburg and deployed its 1,722-square-foot to save around 10% of fuel. The SkySail is completely automatic, and looking at it in motion makes you wish all ships had one: You can see the Skysail in action here.
The technology is different than traditional sailing systems because the sail area and the ship are separated by a towing rope. According to them, this result in higher power, easier deployment and higher safety than traditional sails (even automated ones.)
Skysails - Jesus Diaz
The company plans to sell kites that will generate 5,000kW. And while fuel consumption can be reduced by 50% under optimal wind conditions, they say the average will range from 10 to 35%, enough to guarantee that transportation companies would adopt it, if not to reduce resources, save the planet and hug trees, to help their bottom line against oil prices. [SkySails via Splutch]