Wingsail technology saves fuel and reduces emissions

Oceanfoil’s wingsail technology could achieve an average fuel consumption and emissions saving of 14% on a mid-sized tanker vessel.

This is the research finding from BMT, who said that Oceanfoil’s fuel-assist aerofoil technology, which uses wingsails to capture effective directional thrust from wind power, could also save up to up to 20% in certain wind and sea conditions.

Charles Moray, managing director of Oceanfoil, commented: “Oceanfoil’s ‘wingsail’, is a propulsion assist technology that is well suited for tankers and bulk carriers, which provide good opportunity for the wingsails to use the wind to create forward thrust – thus reducing reliance upon the vessel’s main engines.

“For a mid-sized tanker like the one used for the BMT report, this would lead to savings of up to at least $500,000 per year – a huge reduction in operating expenses.”

BMT’s study considered a system of four Oceanfoil wingsails over the course of a year on a 183m, 50,000t deadweight (dwt) Panamax vessel operating in the North Atlantic.

The study identified the thrust benefits for all wind angles around the ship and used the average to define the Oceanfoil wingsail thrust at a given ship and wind speed; an approach that BMT described in its report as “conservative”.

Based on data taken when operating the vessel at or near its Continuous Service Rating (CSR), savings were estimated at 13% for worldwide operations, factoring marginally calmer sea states.

Mr Moray said that Oceanfoil is in talks with partners who could pioneer its technology.

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