Date of Award


Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name



Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Degree Program

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering


Brandon Taravella


Climate change is quickly becoming one of the leading problems of the twenty-first century, and the maritime transportation sector is beginning to react. Wind propulsion technologies have been making a comeback led by the Flettner rotor. The deck-mounted, vertical, spinning cylinder generates a lift (or thrust) force perpendicular to the wind by utilizing the Magnus effect. Rotor performance has been studied extensively on many ocean shipping routes, but has not been on the Great Lakes, a region with a large maritime industry. This study aims to assess whether or not Flettner rotors are practical in the region by calculating propulsive power contributions on several popular routes. Results show that a single rotor can provide an average of 2.69% of a ship’s propulsive needs, demonstrating that, while still beneficial, Flettner rotors are less efficient on the smaller bodies of water when compared to ocean based results. However, rotor sails are still capable of providing a significant boost to efficiency in a multi-rotor system deployed on a favorable route.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this honors thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the honors thesis.