October 10, 2020

Thousands of years have passed since we learnt to harness the wind so that ocean-going vessels could travel faster and further. The wind helped us discover our planet – now it can help us preserve it.
Innovative Swedish technology will make it possible to power the largest ocean-going vessels by wind, reducing emissions by 90 percent. Sails are no longer the issue – this time the rigging has more in common with airplane wings. Oceanbird is about revolutionizing technology that will put an end to the era of fossil-driven cargo ships in maritime transport. The wind is back.
Or, to be more precise, the wind has always been there, but no one has been able to use it to power a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic with 7,000 cars in its hull. Until now.
When the first ship makes its maiden voyage, it will be a historical occasion for maritime transport. The international seafaring organization IMO has set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping by 40 percent by 2030. Oceanbird will contribute to changing, updating, and remodeling an entire industry.
Innovative Swedish technology will make it possible to power the large oceangoing vessels by wind, reducing emissions by 90 percent. Oceanbird is a concept for a PCTC (Pure Car and Truck Carrier) with capacity to carry 7,000 cars.
To revert climate change and find ways to transport goods in a sustainable way, the global shipping community needs to shift away from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Oceanbird shows that the maritime industry can bring about major change and that zero-emission shipping is possible, using wind as the main energy source.
Carl-Johan Söder, Ph.D. Naval Architect, Wallenius Marine said: “Our design features a unique combination where the hull and rigs work together as one unit and has been specifically optimized for sailing the oceans. With our configuration the vessel will have an average speed of 10 knots on a typical Atlantic crossing. A North Atlantic crossing with Oceanbird will therefore take around twelve days, compared to the eight days it takes conventional vessels.” Oceanbird is a Swedish collaborative project between Wallenius Marine, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) and SSPA. It’s supported by the Swedish Transport Administration, which is acting as a co-financier. KTH is addressing the challenges within areas such as aerodynamics, sailing mechanics and performance analysis. SSPA is contributing with expertise within the development and validation of new testing methods, aerodynamic and hydrodynamic simulation methods and risk simulation. It is a cluster collaboration with experts from the public and private sectors. This expertise will be used to develop sailing vessels in other vessel segments.
Wallenius Marine is a family owned company and part of the Soya Group. The company is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
(Source and image: Oceanbird)