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Rotor sail on M/V Copenhagen

Scandlines hybrid ferry M/V Copenhagen equipped with Norsepower's rotor sail solution

Since 2013, Scandlines has operated with hybrid ferries on its routes between Germany and Denmark and thereby reduced CO2 emission from the ferries. With the addition of wind power technology developed by Norsepower Oy Ltd on the M/V Copenhagen, the emission on the route between Rostock and Gedser is reduced even further.

With the decision to install a rotor sail, Scandlines implements the almost 100-year old concept of the Flettner rotor and thus invests in environmentally friendly wind power technology. The Norsepower rotor sail is the first data-verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry.

The rotor sail is a rotating 30-metre tall cylinder and the technology is based on the Magnus effect: When the wind meets the spinning cylinder, the airflow accelerates on one side of the cylinder and decelerates on the opposite side of the cylinder. The change in the speed of airflow results in a pressure difference, which creates a lift force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction. The longitudinal component of this force helps to push the ship through the water.

The technology has the optimum effect when it is windy and the wind comes from the side. The route between Gedser to the north and Rostock to the south is almost perpendicular to the prevailing wind from the west giving Scandlines favourable conditions for using rotor sails on the crossing. 

By installing a rotor sail, Scandlines can reduce the COemission from M/V Copenhagen by four to five per cent. 

You can see an animation of the rotor sail technology on Norsepower’s website: 


Preparation for the rotor sail

The hybrid ferry M/V Copenhagen was prepared for the rotor sail during a yard stay in November 2019. A steel foundation was established and cables were pulled. Furthermore, the navigation light was relocated.


Installation of the rotor sail

The actual rotor sail was mounted in May 2020 during a scheduled overnight stop in the port of Rostock. Due to detailed preparation in the past few months, the installation could be successfully completed in just hours.