Michelin Is Testing The Wisamo Sail Wing Onboard A Commercial Ship

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In the near future, we might see all kinds of vessels like pleasure craft, sporting a sail wing that will help them burn less fuel and cruise more efficiently. This is no traditional sail wing but an innovative concept developed by Michelin through the Wisamo project.

In 2021, Michelin introduced the Wisamo project for green maritime transportation . The basic concept seems deceptively simple – a modern sail wing that works automatically and is both inflatable and retractable.

The outcome is more than impressive, as this simple sail wing could reduce fuel consumption by 20% for a single vessel. Even better, the Wisamo sailing concept is remarkably flexible and compatible with virtually any kind of vessel, even yachts.

First testing campaign

In the second half of 2021, the Wisamo team and Michelin engineers carried out the first testing campaign using a 100-square meter (1,076 square feet) prototype of the sail wing. The prototype was installed on the famous French sailor Michel Desjoyeaux’s sailboat, and the tests took place on Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland. Using the same installation, the second phase took things further by testing the Wisamo sail wing in harsh winter conditions in the Bay of Biscay.

After the success of this first testing campaign that continued throughout the first months of 2022, Michelin initiated further testing onboard a commercial ship. It joined forces with Compagnie Maritime Nantaise, which provided the MN Pelican container ship. Another 100-square-meter wing prototype was installed on the ship, which became a floating laboratory for testing this innovative system.

Since June, the MN Pelican has been covering its usual route in the Gulf of Gascogne, travelling from Poole (Great Britain) to Bilbao, Spain. The only difference is that it’s equipped with a Wisamo wing prototype helping it burn less fuel.

Features of The Wisamo Wing Sail

The Wisamo wing sail design is fully-retractable, inflatable and automated. It features a telescopic mast that can raise and lower automatically. This allows any kind of ship equipped with this wing to enter ports or pass under bridges easily. The automated process is based on a digital control panel with sensors for wind direction and force.

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Source: autoevolution