Solution: A sustainable alternative to fuel driven cargo vessels
Innovative Swedish technology will make it possible to power the largest ocean-going vessels by wind.
Wallenius and Alfa Laval have joined forces to supply wind power solutions – both wind assisted and wind propulsion – to the shipping industry.
What is the Oceanbird concept? Oceanbird is about revolutionizing technology that gives an alternative to fossil-driven cargo vessels. The complete Oceanbird concept includes wing sails, as well as a special designed hull and recommendations regarding speed and routes, but it is also applicable for existing vessels (retrofit). Extensive simulations and model testing at sea and in water tanks, have proven that it is possible to significantly reduce emissions from vessels by using wind power. Our aim is to sail the first Oceanbird vessel in 2026, and so far it looks promising.
How does The Oceanbird wing sails work? The main energy force comes from wind, but the Oceanbird wing sails have more in common with airplane wings than traditional sails. Therefore, aerodynamics are important in developing the concept. The wing consists of a main sail and a flap, optimizing the aerodynamics forces.
Why do we need to move an industry? Shipping is an energy-efficient way of transporting goods. Despite this, shipping needs to become more sustainable. Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, even more than airplanes.
Besides from reducing air emissions, Oceanbird will also decrease sound pollution in the water. The Oceanbird vessels would be far quieter in the water, since it will be no sounds from generators or engines but propeller cavitation. This will mean a lot for whales and other marine mammals which depend on hearing for navigation, reproduction and finding food.
The Heroes of the Sea are the role models we need to save the oceans. But without proper attention their work will not be widely circulated. That's why we try to give them a platform to make their solutions accessible to all!