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Solar Sailing for Chinese Cargo Ships


Alt Dot Energy
November 10, 2008


Solar Sailor , an Australian company, has signed a deal with the largest Chinese
shipping line COSCO to fit their tankers with large solar-powered sails.

The sails are 30 meters long, covered with solar PV panels that will provide 5
percent of the ships’ electricity and will harness enough wind to reduce fuel
costs by 20 to 40 percent. The sails are controlled by a computer that angles
them for maximum wind and solar efficiency and the company claims that the sails
will pay for themselves within four years.

The shipping and air travel industries have been the hardest to conform to new
efficiency demands. Planes and tankers require a lot of fuel, but our global
economy depends on both of them to survive, so they’ve been hard industries to
regulate. Even the latest environmental standards set by the EU included passes
for shipping and airline companies.

 

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