Wind for main propulsion

Sailracing = a mature technology

1960-70 1980-90 2000-10 2020
Area La Trinité sur Mer La Rochelle South Brittany Lorient
Technology Monohull, Trimaran Catamaran Trimaran Wingsail, foils
Methods Art & intuition Numeric Hydro / aero CFD Simulations
Reference speed (kts) 10 20 30 40
Brittany rules the waves, South Brittany rules the wind and the waves PROPELWIND location: Lorient, South Brittany

Main propulsion <<Proven Reserves>>

propelwind graph
  • Tested in 2011 : 9 configurations with integrated CFD (aero / hydro)
  • Catamaran 10,000 dwt
  • Rigid Articulated Wingsails possible combinations:
    • Height: 90 – 115 – 135m
    • Number: 2 – 3 – 4 wingsails
  • Ship Speed with 4 wingsails of 135m each (see graph – upper blue line):
    • True wind angle: 90°
    • True wind speed: 15knots;
    • Ship speed: 24Knots

Conclusion: Wind propulsion is not slow propulsion

Main Principle

  • Wind for main propulsion is only feasible for light cargo’s
  • Mechanical propulsion is anyhow required for assistance : safety, manoeuvring and lack of wind situations
  • Combining the use of wind with battery and/or hydrogen makes real zero emission shipping possible
  • The use of wind for main propulsion allows to minimize the storage of batteries and/or storage of clean fuel

Our engine: the Rigid Articulated Wingsail

Propelwind cat Propelwind technical drawing Propwelwind technical drawing

Progress status

  • 2012: Extensive performance evaluation completed, including:
    • State-of-the-art aerodynamics
    • Computer Fluid Dynamics
    • Structural Finite Elements Method
    • routing
  • 2016: PELICAN Express concept / Relevant cargoes identified:
    • Cruise
    • Cars
    • Light bulk
    • Break bulk
    • Containers
  • 2019: Vessel size range, hull configuration and target perfomance defined
  • 2020: For the next development phase:
    • Engineering cost estimate and time schedule
    • Break-even forecast