UK Engineering Start-Up Secures Funding For New Wind Propulsion System


  • WingTek, along with the University of Bristol receives a grant.
  • Development focuses on the Wind Auxiliary Propulsion system.
  • The systems are adaptable to existing vessels, new builds, and easily removable vessels and others.

UK-based start-up WingTek, along with the University of Bristol and the National Composites Centre, receives a £2.2 million innovation grant.

Grant awarded under the UK Department for Transport Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, reports Offshore Energy.

Technology Overview

Development focuses on a Wind Auxiliary Propulsion (WAP) system, complementing existing ship propulsion.

Aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels powering marine diesel engines.

Project Scope

  • Two full-size operational prototypes are to be developed.
  • One prototype for on-shore testing and another for sea trials on a commercial UK vessel.
  • The project is scheduled for completion by March 2025.

Contributions of Partners

University of Bristol: Expertise in computational fluid modeling, wind tunnel testing, and energy system modeling.

National Composites Centre: Knowledge in composite design and structural analysis.


Professor Ann Gaitonde (University of Bristol): Emphasizes the potential for emission reduction and easy adoption by the commercial fleet.

Neil Richards (WingTek Managing Director): Highlights the significance of the grant in accelerating development and praises project partners.

System Adaptability

Wind propulsion systems are adaptable to existing vessels, and newbuilds, and easily removable for decommissioning or transfer to other vessels.

Impact and Potential

Opportunity to reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions for the global fleet of over 55,000 commercial ships.

Substantial savings are expected, especially on routes like the North Atlantic and North Sea, when combined with weather routing.

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Source: offshore energy