Innovative energy solutions for Arctic conditions

The objective of Tekes' Arctic Seas programme is to develop Finland into an internationally attractive centre of expertise. Launched in 2014, this programme now involves over 40 company and 19 research organisation projects. These projects were presented at the Arctic Know-how as Strength seminar, held on 18-19 March 2015 by Tekes, the Academy of Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

"The focus areas of the Arctic Seas programme are ICT applications and cleantech. These are involved in over 80 percent of the projects selected for the programme”, says Programme Manager Piia Moilanen. This is a natural focus area since efficient solutions and risk management are required in the fragile and challenging northern environment. A pioneering market in cleaner seafaring is also being created.

Finland has world-class expertise in safe winter seafaring and energy optimisation for ship propulsion. Small improvements in energy efficiency, route optimisation or fuel selection have a major impact, since around 95 percent of carbon emissions during a ship's life cycle occur during the vessel's operation.

Process Flow optimising the design of propulsion equipment

A service concept developed by Process Flow Solution Oy is based on the optimal design of propulsion equipment. At the core of the concept lies an integrated calculation model which covers all key parts of a ship, including auxiliary equipment, turbulence, air lubrication and the interaction between them. The calculation model can be used to obtain a detailed analysis of the propeller's performance. Until now, modelling has mainly been used in the ship industry to model hull behaviour.

A five percent reduction in fuel consumption can be achieved through optimal propeller design benefiting from calculation models. For end customers, such as shipyards, the new product enables the construction of ships with lower fuel consumption and the replacement of scale models in design trials, reducing costs and improving competitiveness.

Energy from sea winds

Norsepower of Helsinki is developing Rotor Sail Solutions which convert sea winds into energy for use by ships. This enables the ship's main engines to be run on lower power, without reducing the vessel's speed.

Norsepower's rotor sails are installed on the decks of ships. The sails are designed for use on ro-ro ships, tankers and bulk carriers, and the system is currently being trialled by a ship, the Boren Estrade. Tekes helped to fund the development of the application.

Safe navigation in icy seas

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has embarked on a six-year research project, "Vessel Operations and Routing in Ice Conditions (VORIC)." Navigation issues are particularly challenging in Arctic sea areas. Forecasts indicate that multiyear ice cover will decline in such areas. This should lead to growth in commercial activity, when navigation periods lengthen and entirely new routes open.

The project will generate information contributing to navigation that is safe and optimal for people and the environment. This will create a promising basis for Finnish shipbuilders and producers of technology-based navigation solutions and will improve their competitiveness.

Further information

Piia Moilanen
Tel. +358 50 5577 748


Sanna Nuutila