The use of large kites in ship propulsion has been shown as both feasible and spectacular. Here we propose an even more exotic propulsion mechanism based on a Laddermill apparatus mounted on a ship combining production of electrical power from wind and the more traditional sailing by wind force. The feasibility of this concept is investigated. The results show that with this novel concept it is possible to sail a ship straight into the wind! Even more spectacular will the method of propulsion be when the overall efficiency from kite thrust times cable speed towards ship thrust times speed can be made around 50%. In that case, and technically 50% seems feasible, the ship can be propelled by wind energy with a resulting speed that is practically independent from the wind direction! Such a capability could well change the world’s seafaring.
Kite Sailing Symposium, Center for Wooden Boats/South Lake Union, Seattle, WA, 28-30 September 2006.
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