Oceanfoil, a UK-based aerofoil design company has announced that it has formed partnerships with naval architects Owen Clarke Design and University College London’s Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) to progress developments of their wingsails for auxiliary ship propulsion.

The joint project, according to Oceanfoil, will improve the existing design and has the potential to offer a 20% saving in fuel consumption. The company regards the potential for wind as an additional power source is now verging on necessity.

Oceanfoil and Owen Clarke Design will join forces to design a working prototype with an improved wingsail design ready for sea trials in the second half of 2014 on an actual ship.

UCL-Energy have been drafted in to work alongside Oceanfoil to develop analysis capability to maximise the performance of Oceanfoil’s technology on representative shipping routes. This analysis is expected to enable potential savings for any application to be predicted.

Charles Moray, managing director, Oceanfoil, said: “We are very pleased to have partnered with two leading institutions in the maritime field. With the cost of fuel for ocean-going vessels at a sustained high level, our wingsail designs are ideally placed to capture a proportion of an industry craving fuel, emissions and cost savings amid increasing fuel costs and regulation.”

He continued: “We understand that the industry has been bombarded with claims of huge fuel savings, and therefore we know we must stringently measure, report and verify the savings we produce.”

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  • Scylla

    Like the concept but not the restricted visibility from the bridge. Either shorter ‘wings’ or a higher bridge please.

  • sabah alwan

    You have to realize that it is almost never sailing downwind, also whatever you use “sails or foils” will need to be balanced the upper force (lift or pressure on the sail or the foil) by another submerged foil underneath the hull. Otherwise it is not so easy to have the balance or the directional stability. Furthermore adding huge structure on top will shift the neutral axis somewhere higher and will shift the VCg somewhere higher (both are undesirable)

    • Kraps

      Does it have to be sailing downwind all the time? Sailboats don’t…

    • Phil

      I can’t see that the VCG would be shifted upward in a big way, if you look at VLCCs etc the VCG is very low in the ship anyway. The structures would be light in comparison to the rest of the ship.
      Secondly, look at the old clippers, where are their foils? They may improve performance to windward, but it’s not necessary.

      • sabah alwan

        Karps & Phil, It is true they dont have to sail downwind but how do you anticipate balance out the forces/moments? also you should think of how much structure reinforcement you would need to have sufficient size sails.


      Hey Sabah…You Suck !!!


    Willo probably qbl

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