Objectives Ship assisted navigation facilities can not only reduce the shipping cost and improve the economic benefits, but also improve the marine environment to some extent. The mechanical properties of rotor sail in the wind field as a kind of ship assisted navigation facility in ships are numerically simulated based on Magnus effect principle.
Methods The variation rules of the thrust, lateral force and driving torque of the rotor sail with rotation speed, wind speed and wind direction angle are analyzed. A bulk carrier with rotor sails is taken as calculation case to assess the level of energy-saving.
Results The results show that, the thrust and lateral force increase with the increase of wind speed and rotating speed, the highest level of energy-saving is achieved when the wind direction angle is nighty degrees, but the thrust reaches a peak value and then decreases gradually. The energy-saving varies with the wind direction angles, but driving the rotor sail requires power consumption and a lateral force will be produced as wind direction is nighty degrees which can cause the ship to yaw.
Conclusions The results given in this paper can provide technical support for optimal design of the sail.