At this year’s Movin’On World Summit on Sustainable Mobility, Michelin presented the WISAMO project, a large-scale innovation that aims to contribute to the decarbonisation of maritime transport by relying on wind energy.
As the world moves towards a total environmental disaster, profound changes are already needed to address the challenges of mobility. Michelin is working to make maritime transport more efficient while also saving fossil resources
François Cadiou, CEO of BRS Brokers, said that although maritime transport was essential, the use of oil fuel had become catastrophic, and CO2 emissions must be reduced. Maritime transport is responsible for around 3% of global CO2 emissions, so if shipowners do not find a way to meet the required standards, their business could slowly go bankrupt.
Michelin To this end, the French multinational has come up with innovative projects that are likely to revolutionize the future of transport, not only on the road but also at sea. Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) is based on the creation of a new sailing system for all types of ships and will help to decarbonise maritime shipping.
This project was developed in collaboration with Michel Desjoyaux, a French navigator and world-renowned sailors whose contributions and technical know-how have significantly influenced the development of WISAMO. Thanks to Desjoyaux’s expertise, the new type of sails will be able to be tested on a merchant ship under real sea conditions. for cargo ships and gas tankers. Sails can also be used on pleasure boats. This system takes advantage of wind propulsion, allowing ships to reduce their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent, which has a positive effect on the environment by reducing CO2 emissions.
“Plug and Play” system, the wing-shaped sails are easy to install and use. They can be installed as original equipment on new ships or can be installed on existing ships. At the touch of a button, it blows the telescopic sail into the shape of a small air compressor. It then automatically selects the appropriate setting for the cargo ship (which is good because there are probably no sailing experts on board a real cargo ship.)
The design of the sails allows you to catch the wind like an airplane wing, and thereby transfer energy that propels the ship forward. Their dual surface results in even better performance than a conventional sail.
The most special feature of WISAMO is that the sails are inflated, which reduces the mechanical stress on the fabrics and increases the flexibility of the wing. The sails can be fully retracted, making it easier to cross under bridges, or even helping to ensure the safety of crew members in bad weather. In addition, the system sails very well against the wind.
The shipping industry is under great pressure to meet growing environmental requirements, and now is the time to act before the environmental damage is irreversible, says Desjoyeaux. According to him, the advantage of wind propulsion is that wind energy is clean, free, universal and not divisive at all. It offers a very promising opportunity to improve the environmental impact of merchant ships
Michelin is not the only company trying to explore greener shipping opportunities. A number of other systems are being tested, including kite sailing, folding masts, rotor sails, and even a mixture of solar and wind energy.
The WISAMO system will be used for the first time on a merchant ship in 2022. Michelin expects to be in full production once the testing phases are completed
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