Oceanwings® 2.1 – Prototype

Financial aid from ADEME, France’s environment and energy management agency, enabled VPLP Design to produce an 8m fully-working prototype, validate feasibility, prove the systems work and acquire sailing data to fine-tune performance models developed in-house. All of that being undertaken in the frame of less than year, less than 400k€ but more than 12 providers and partenrs.

Namely thanks to the enthousiasm of Roland Jourdain, a famous French sailor, that VPLP had the opportunity to install the very first full scale prototype of Oceanwings® on a very special trimaran, hence proving once again that innovation and ecology go hand in hands.

The 7m catamaran features biocomposite construction, including parts made from flax fibre and recyclable thermoplastic resin. It’s an approach which highlights a make-or-break characteristic: Oceanwings® must be suitable for retrofitting to existing craft.

With a projected surface of only 21m², to compare with 32 or 46m² for a standard rigging, the prototype of Oceanwings® propels in every wind conditions the boat to an equal or higher speed. It noticely increased its performance to the point of allowing for headings up to 20° relative to the true wind : a remarkable exemple of the efficency of the aerodynamics involved.

Tablet-controlled prototype
Lowered and Full surface

Oceanwings® 3.2 – Industrial Demonstrator

The first hydrogen boat around the world … powered by Oceanwings®

After an outstanding racing career under the names of Formule TAG, Tag Heuer, Enza New Zealand, Royal & SunAlliance, Team Legato, or Daedalus, this legendary boat has a new life today under the name of Energy Observer. Built in Canada back in 1983 by naval architect Nigel Irens, under the supervision of Mike Birch as the future skipper, he is by excellence the catamaran that had a decisive impact on the future evolutions of multihulls. Originally being 24.38 meters long, it has been lengthen four times and today is 30.5 meters long and 12.80 meters wide .
A true experimental laboratory with a goal of energy autonomy, Energy Observer is the first vessel in the world, able to produce its hydrogen from seawater, thanks to renewable energies.
Since the very beginning of its new life, VPLP has been involved in the architectural modifications of the boat, that work culminating by the installation of the wind propulsor Oceanwings® first trimester of 2019. The work undertaken by VPLP have had two phases, one beginning of 2016, the other, mid-2018.
The first intervention consisted in assisiting the yard for the main works. The installation of such many equipements resulted in increasing the displacement so that we had to boost floatability by fitting externally on the hulls foam formers and to evaluate the impact of such modifications on hydrodynamic drag and hence consumption of the boat. Additionnally, to optimize solar panel surface, VPLP designed and dimensionned the cantilever beams supporting the solar panels aft of the wheelhouse.
Undertook by AYRO, the second consisted in dimensionning and detail design of specific Oceanwings® to fit the boat’s architecture and the energy available onboard. Eventually itw as opted for two Oceanwings® with a projected surface of 31.5m² each fitted on one of the float of the catamaran. Controlled by a specific software realized by AYRO and control algorithm based on a pre-calculated database of trim settings, these wind propulsors will be connected to the energy network onboard.
Featuring a reduced energy demand, the two Oceanwings® will on the opposite, depending on wind conditions, allow : 
⦁ Increased boat speed, together with the electric motors
⦁ Reduced energy spending, when they reduce loading on the lectric motors
⦁ Increased energy production while at sea though hydrogeneration (using electric motors as hydrogenerators)
⦁ Production of hydrogen while at sea using electrolysis thanks to the energy saved or even indirectly produced by their use
If Energy Observer is a true precursor, the use of the Oceanwings® onboard prefigures the way AYRO sees their use : as an auxiliary wind propulsor used in a diversified mix of energy sources onboard ships

Energy Observer sailing with its Oceanwings on the day of the installation in Amsterdam
Energy Observer displaying its Oceanwings in Bjørnøya

Oceanwings® 3.6.3 – Industrial Product

In 2018 ArianeGroup, a world leader in access to space, put out a call for proposals to build a ship capable of transporting the various parts of the new Ariane 6 launcher from Europe to the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, within nine days. Alizés, a joint venture between the offshore services specialist Jifmar and Zéphyr & Borée, a young maritime company specializing in carbon-free transport, were chosen for the project.

VPLP Design was entrusted with the task of designing a ship – named Canopée by ArianeGroup – in accordance with the specifications of the project. The design firm came up with a RORO vessel which is 121 m long and 23 m in the beam, and features a bridge in the bow and an open deck aft with high sides to protect the cargo.

A major innovation, Canopée’s hybrid propulsion comprises four 30 m high Oceanwings® providing a total surface area of 1,452 square metres. These wingsails assist the ship’s main propulsion system to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 25%.

Oceanwings®, designed by AYRO in order to comply with the industrial requierements of mass production are manufactured and assembled by a range of partners and suppliers that are leaders in their field of expertise, cost-driven and serial production oriented companies.