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Wingsail technology as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohammed Abdul Hannan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Since 3000 BC, wind sailing has been a means of travelling for the humankind. However, the objective of wind propulsion technology research these days is to ensure efficient, sustainable energy source for propulsion which will help to reduce the harmful impact of fossil fuel on the environment. Wingsail is one of such wind propulsion technologies widely studied these days. Although wingsail is mostly used in yacht, surfing and racing boats; this paper reports the findings of a feasibility study of using such technology in commercial vessels. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of wingsail on bigger vessels. A traditional oil tanker of length 228 m is chosen in this regard, and five wingsails are fitted on its deck. After that commercial CFD software ANSYS Fluent is used to perform this simulation-based study. The wind energy harvested by these five wingsails for an average wind speed of 7 m/s is then calculated. It is found that wingsails can help to save around 2.6% of fuel per voyage for this particular ship on a particular route of 6593 Nautical Miles, which is equivalent to 27 tons of fuel.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ariffin NIB, Hannan MA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 5th International Conference on Mechanical Engineering Research (ICMER 2019)

Year of Conference: 2019

Online publication date: 05/06/2020

Acceptance date: 13/06/2019

Date deposited: 17/07/2020

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


DOI: 10.1088/1757-899X/788/1/012062