Caption: Wing sails on San Francisco Bay, Credit: Jason Albert
Image by: Jason Albert 
Wing sails on San Francisco Bay 

Sailing The High Seas 2.0

From: Jason Albert
Length: 06:41

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90% of the world's goods are carried by cargo ships. And the oceans they sail on are streaming with wind: High tech wing sails used on America's Cup racing boats may help increase cargo ship fuel efficiency.

Prx-ja_stem-3_small Our journey to a low carbon society may in fact mean reimagining the past. Untapped wind resources pummel the ocean's trade routes; so it might make perfect sense for newer cargo ships to harness wind power with sails that act and look like airplane wings. So imagine for a moment you're that ten-year-old kid on an epic family road trip, extending your hand out the window. Tilt your hand slightly upward, and your arm raises. In this story about wing sail technology, you'll learn how this simple back-of-the-car experiment helps us understand how wing sails make the current crop of America's Cup catamarans race across San Francisco Bay and may allow cargo ships to power down engines and set sail for a port near you.

Note: The piece ends at 6:12 with music and ambi of kids flying their arms/wings out the window until 6:41. 

Editing and sound design: Kaitlin Prest






 

Piece Description

Our journey to a low carbon society may in fact mean reimagining the past. Untapped wind resources pummel the ocean's trade routes; so it might make perfect sense for newer cargo ships to harness wind power with sails that act and look like airplane wings. So imagine for a moment you're that ten-year-old kid on an epic family road trip, extending your hand out the window. Tilt your hand slightly upward, and your arm raises. In this story about wing sail technology, you'll learn how this simple back-of-the-car experiment helps us understand how wing sails make the current crop of America's Cup catamarans race across San Francisco Bay and may allow cargo ships to power down engines and set sail for a port near you.

Note: The piece ends at 6:12 with music and ambi of kids flying their arms/wings out the window until 6:41. 

Editing and sound design: Kaitlin Prest






 

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

90% of the world’s goods are carried by cargo ship. Coupled with increasing fuel costs and more aggressive environmental regulations, naval engineers are now tasked with building more energy efficient cargo ships. Unrelenting ocean winds are an untapped source of clean propulsion. New high tech sails that work like airplane wings may help solve fuel inefficiencies in the cargo shipping industry. Some engineers believe the “wing sails” helping today’s America’s Cup catamarans race across San Francisco Bay, may eventually allow cargo ships to power down engines and set sail for a port near you.

OUTRO:

Our story on wing sails and cargo ships was produced by Jason Albert with editing and sound design by Kaitlin Prest. This production is part of the STEM Story Project, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Presented by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.”

Additional Credits

Editing and Sound Design: Kaitlin Prest