Low speed transportation is more energy efficient than high speed transportation in general. At the same time of maintain speed, ships with lower design speeds provide possibilities for further reducing fuel consumption by using auxiliary wind propulsion devices. A kite is one type of auxiliary wind propulsion device that can be used for this purpose. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of auxiliary kite propulsion on the performance of a Panamax tanker, specifically on engine power reduction, maneuverability in different wind/wave directions and on course-keeping ability of the ship. The study was carried out by means of computer-based simulations. Scenario combinations are established for various ship speeds, headings and weather conditions. For the purpose of simulation, a simplified auxiliary kite propulsion model was built. Throughout the simulations, forces, moments and motions of the tanker were recorded, and so were rudder angle, ship thrust and engine power. The result shows that auxiliary kite propulsion can play a significant role in reducing engine power in following up to beam sea conditions. The present study is a first step towards a fully dynamic kite model where a control mechanism will be introduced to find the most favorable flying trajectory.

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