Tire giant Michelin has unveiled new giant inflatable sails that improve fuel efficiency on the 20%.
Michelin is developing ship sails to help save the environment.
At the Movin' On summit, the French multinational announced a number of new projects aimed at promoting “sustainable mobility” not only on the road, but also on the high seas. Among them stands out the Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project, which aims to decarbonize maritime shipping with an innovative sail system.
WISAMO is a set inflatable wing sails, which can be installed on both large cargo ships and pleasure craft to reduce its carbon footprint. Sail with an area of 1,076 sq. ft. is modeled after aircraft wings and harnesses the power of the wind to improve fuel efficiency. As a result, the ship uses less fuel and emits less CO2.
The tire titan worked with two Swiss inventors to create a structure that incorporated an air compressor to inflate the sails. The unit can be integrated into a new vessel or retrofitted to an existing operating vessel. It is especially suitable for oil and gas tankers.
Michelin says the new system can be used on any maritime shipping route and also features a retractable telescoping mast to allow large ships to enter harbors and pass under bridges unhindered. In addition, the system is fully automated and can be adjusted to catch the most wind or retract if conditions get too stormy.
The company says it will test sail on a merchant vessel in 2022 before going into full production.