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LEveraging WInd-Assisted THrust

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LEWIATH (LEveraging WInd-Assisted THrust)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-04-30

Wind energy has long been the main propulsion force to travel on sea. One century ago, ocean going sailing vessels were already sustaining cruising speeds up to 18 knots (= 33 km/h) all over trade routes without using a single drop of oil. The advent of internal combustion engine allowing more reliable power production and stricter schedules led to the disappearance of sailing vessels from global trade in the early 20th century. However, the combination of sail automation, mechanical processes miniaturization, IT technologies, and weather routing will fix disadvantages which led to disappearance of commercial sailing vessels one century ago.

Maritime transport overwhelmingly dominates global freight transportation with 58,500 vessels totaling over 10,3 billion deadweight tons and covering 90% of global goods trade. Marine propulsion market is expected to grow at a CAGR worth 4.3% between 2018 and 2026 to reach $18 Billion by 2026. Climate change imperatives and rising environmental awareness force governments to tighten legislation and set pressure on shipyards and shipowners to develop greener alternatives. Therefore, market potential for wind propulsion technologies for shipping vessels is estimated to reach between 3,700 and 10,700 deployed systems between 2020 and 2030 for both retrofit and installation on newbuild vessels.

Our patented technology works like an airplane wing: its asymmetric profile generates a pressure difference (i.e. Lift Force) between the windward (intrados) and leeward (extrados) surfaces and reveal much more efficient than existing profiles. Our wing-sail profile has been developed to deliver higher energy-efficiency than all current technologies and it can be reversed, adjusted and lowered to adapt changing weather conditions, vessels’ changing position to the wind and freight un/loading operations. Unlike airplane wings’ intrados and extrados which never switch sides nor vary in length, our wing-sail shape can constantly be optimized to obtain the best Lift Force / Drag Force ratio and it can also be reverted.
SME Instrument Phase 1 aimed at finalizing developement of our prototype. We carried out aerodynamics studies. We also extended our IP portfolio and we carried out a market study on cargo shipping trade.
Current sailing technologies remain almost unchanged since the last century and they are limited by several factors: the lift force / drag force ratio, limited deck space, changing weather conditions, staff needed to handle the sails, ability to reduce wind surface, etc. In this context, CWS is developing a wind-based technology which will revive commercial sailing. Our wing-sail work like an airplane wing: its asymmetric profile generates a pressure difference (i.e. Lift Force) between the windward (intrados) and leeward (extrados) surfaces and reveal much more efficient than existing profiles. However, wing-sails must adapt wind shifts and vessels’ changing position to the wind. Our approach relies in developing a continuous and asymmetric wing-sail whose profile can be reversed, adjusted and lowered to adapt changing wind conditions. It can generate thrust from starboard and port positions to be able to sail up, down and across the wind (unlike airplane wings’ intrados and extrados which never switch sides nor vary in length). Our system combines Reversible rigs, Telescopic and free-rotating masts and wing-sail automation.
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