E-Ship 1 with Sailing Rotors to Reduce Fuel Costs and to Reduce Emissions

by OldSailor on August 8, 2008


Enercon_1 lindenau

Thanks to increasing oil prices! Here comes E-Ship 1 from ‘Enercon’, one of the world’s leading companies in the wind energy sector from Germany. E-Ship 1 uses wind energy to cut down fuel costs and also helps to reduce emissions. Unlike Beluga Skysail which uses a huge parasail, E-Ship 1 uses four giant 25 metre high, 4 metre in diameter, rotating, vertical metal sailing rotors positioned two fore and two aft to harness wind energy. The sailing rotors are also called as Flettner rotors.

Here are some interesting features of E-Ship 1:

  • Sailing rotors use wind energy to propel the ship and works on the the principle of Magnus effect named after German physicist, Heinrich Gustav Magnus .
  • This concept was demonstrated by a German physicist Anton Flettner in 1924.
  • The alphabet E stands for: ENERCON, Electro-technology, Environment, Economy, Ecology and the alphabet E also implies: Energy, Earth, Endurance, Encouragement, Experience, Experiment.
  • Ship is under construction at Lindenau GmbH shipyards , Kiel and on August 02, ship naming and launching ceremonies took place.
  • E-Ship 1 is expected to be delivered by December this year.
  • The E-Ship’s main components such as sailing rotors, the highly efficient main engines, and the ship’s streamlined silhouette (above and below the water line) are developed directly by Enercon engineers.
  • E-Ship 1 has been designed to cut down fuel costs by 30 percent.
  • Technical data of E-Ship 1:
    • Length: 130 metres
    • Width: 22.5 metres
    • Draught: 6-9 metres
    • Tonnage: 10.500 tdw / 9.700 tdw
    • Speed: 17.5 knots
    • Engine power: 2 x 3,500 kW
    • 3 holds below deck, capacity: 20.580 m³
    • Ice class E3

The Aurich based Enercon will start using the vessel to transport their wind turbines and components worldwide after the trials of fully equipped E-Ship 1 in 2009.

The principle of propulsion in E-Ship 1:

A spinning cylinder in a moving airstream creates a lateral force perpendicular to the direction of the airstream which, when used on ships, propels the ship to move forward.


Here is the artist’s view of the E-Ship 1

converted PNM file

Here is the E-Ship 1 under construction at Lindenau GmbH shipyards in Kiel.



The above three photographs are from Enercon. More information on E-Ship 1 is available at Enercon.

More information on Anton Flettner’s Rotor Ship, the Buckau is here at Open Learn.

Here is an interesting video which shows a model ship that works on Magnus Effect using sailing rotors.

Update: September 02

Scientist from University of Edinburgh has come out with a method to fight global warming by deploying a  fleet of 1,500 unmanned sailing ships of 300 tonnes,  powered by sailing rotor to whiten clouds in the sky  to reflect the heat of the Sun better. Read more from Times Online.

Also read more about the fleet of cloud seeding yachts using same concept from BBC News.

Update: November 06

Here are some disturbing developments taking place in the completion of E-Ship 1:

  • The German shipbuilder Lindenau-Werft in Kiel constructing E-Ship 1 has declared insolvency in end September. The vessel launched in August is waiting alongside for fitting out. The ship owner, Enercon either has to substantially pay higher price to the shipyard or take the vessel to some other shipyard for completion.
  • Surprisingly, Enercon has removed details regarding E-Ship 1 from their website. However, details regarding E-Ship 1 are available in their Windblatt Magazine 03/2008.

Here is a photograph of E-Ship 1 launching available from Windblatt Magazine.


Here is the video clip on launching of E-Ship 1 in Lindenau shipyard in August.

Read more from Marine Log here and here.

Update: January 25, 2009

Completion of E Ship 1 would be now by German shipyard Cassens Werft. The vessel has already been towed to the Emden-based shipbuilder. The ship is expected to be completed by this year end. Read more from Lloyd’s List News. Also read Enercon News.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil Denholm October 9, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Who does the manning for deck and engine officers for E-Ship 1?

Ed. Barry May 28, 2014 at 11:32 PM

The ship is currently at the deep water harbour of Ringaskiddy Co. Cork, Ireland. |I saw her today and wondered what the tall vertical structures at the corners of the hull were. I am enlightened by the above article. Germany strikes again.–Well Done.

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