WISAMO wing sail system wins DNV approval

Classification society DNV has awarded an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Michelin for their WISAMO wing sail system.

Image credit: DNV

DNV said that this was the first AiP to have been awarded to an inflatable wing sail design. The wing prototype with a surface area of 100 sqm is being installed on Compagnie Maritime Nantaise – MN’s container ship MN Pélican. 

The prototype features an inflatable, retractable, automated wing sail that can be fixed on commercial vessels and pleasure boats. By harnessing the power of wind the company estimates that the system can save up to 20% of fuel per ship.

The 155m long, 8,600 dwt Compagnie Maritime Nantaise ro-ro cargo vessel, operates under charter to Brittany Ferries and sails between Poole, Great Britain and Bilbao, Spain. This will allow testing of the system under commercial maritime navigation conditions.

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First introduced in 2021, the WISAMO sail is automated with a system developed by Michelin R&D and is retractable for access into ports and under bridges.

“We are very pleased to receive this AIP for the WISAMO solution,” said Gildas Quemeneur, Initiative Leader at Michelin.

“It is a very important step forward in the further development of this innovative solution to contribute to maritime transport’s decarbonization. We are now ready for the wing sail usage on MN Pelican Ro-Ro that will allow experimental tests in heavy maritime conditions. All returns of experience will now contribute to build the larger WISAMO wing sail.”

“For the maritime industry to reach the ambitious decarbonization targets that have been set by regulators and increasing demanded by stakeholders, we need to look to enabling technologies that can boost vessel performance, reduce fuel use, and enhance sustainability,” said Hasso Hoffmeister, Senior Principal Engineer at DNV Maritime.

Image credit: DNV

“This is why we are seeing a growing interest in WAPS for owners where the combination of compliance strategy, vessel type, and route offer potential benefits. However, as with every novel technology, acceptance and uptake can only grow from a foundation of trust, supported by rigorous, trusted and evolving technical standards.”

DNV said that its approval was awarded in line with the WAPS ST-0511 standard, which provides a framework for the verification and certification of wind assistance propulsion systems. The technical standard is a complement to the DNV WAPS class notation, which is focused on the integration of systems onboard vessels, whether retrofitted or as part of a newbuilding.

An Approval in Principle is an independent assessment of a concept within an agreed framework, confirming that the design is feasible, and no significant obstacles exist to prevent the concept from being realized. The AIP is typically carried out at an early stage of a project to confirm its feasibility towards the project team itself, company management, external investors or future regulators.