Oceanfoil signs up with Owen Clarke Design and UCL to continue development of aerofoil technology

Oceanfoil, the maritime technology company pioneering proven aerofoil technology, has announced the formation of partnerships with naval architects Owen Clarke Design LLP and University College London’s Energy Institute (UCL-Energy).

Oceanfoil will work with naval architects Owen Clarke Design LLP during the final design and engineering phase, leading to the manufacture of the working prototypes of the new improved wingsails for sea trials in the second half of 2014. UCL-Energy and Oceanfoil are developing analysis capability to maximise the performance of Oceanfoil’s technology on representative shipping routes, and which will enable Oceanfoil to predict the potential savings to be obtained from fitting Oceanfoil wingsails.

Following successful testing indicating that Oceanfoil’s revised and improved design can achieve savings in fuel consumption of up to 20%; Owen Clarke Design (OCD) has been enlisted to lead the on-going design of Oceanfoil’s wingsail technology aboard a vessel. This work will include the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for the further development of the Oceanfoil solid wing along the lines of wing/flap arrangements currently used in the Americas cup AC72's. OCD's terms of reference also includes the creation of customised thrust performance prediction software to be used in association with work being carried out by UCL-Energy.

New software being developed with UCL-Energy will rely on UCL-Energy’s unique data and modelling capabilities to enable Oceanfoil to demonstrate the fuel saving ability of a specific ship to potential customers, using the vessel’s details and known fuel consumption.

The partnerships underline Oceanfoil's strategy of working with industry leading specialists to achieve exceptional results and prove the fuel saving capabilities of their technology. Aerofoils are designed to convert wind into forward thrust, using the same forces that give a wing lift, enabling a vessel to throttle down its main engine to save fuel and increase efficiency.

Charles Moray, Managing Director, Oceanfoil, said: “We are very pleased to have partnered with two leading institutions in the maritime field. With the cost of fuel for ocean-going vessels at a sustained high level, our wingsail designs are ideally placed to capture a proportion of an industry craving fuel, emissions and cost savings amid increasing fuel costs and regulation."

“Owen Clarke Design are leaders in their field and their collaboration with us is testament to our philosophy of working with best in class partners. Their work will ensure that Oceanfoil’s technology achieves Class Type and Build Approval – imperative as we take the technology to sea-trials and commercial applications."

“Working with UCL-Energy is imperative; we understand that the industry has been bombarded with claims of huge fuel savings, and therefore we know we must stringently measure, report and verify the savings we produce.”

The ability to harness the wind as an additional power source to enable a reduction in fuel consumption is now verging on necessity if the maritime transport industry is to remain cost-efficient and offers exciting prospects for the fuel efficiency and significant cost savings within a matter of years.

Merfyn Owen, Owen Clarke Design, added: “Our partnership with Oceanfoil marks an important step in the design and build process of aerofoil technology. Our team of design engineers are working hard to develop Oceanfoil’s innovative wingsail design and we aim to ensure the technology’s safety and structural integrity aboard a vessel in the near future.”

Tristan Smith, Lecturer, UCL-Energy, commented: “UCL is delighted to partner with Oceanfoil. Working with UCL, Oceanfoil will have the ability to rigorously analyse the fuel saving ability of their wingsail technology, and compare against benchmarks of performance for current designs - vital for ensuring the technology is proven for the commercial market.”

About Oceanfoil:

Oceanfoil is the UK maritime technology company pioneering aerofoil sail technology for ocean-going vessels. This propulsion-assist solution has been proven to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% in sea trials aboard the 6,570dwt bulk carrier Ashington in the late 1980s. Currently undergoing further design development and advanced testing to fine-tune the technology and materially increase fuel-savings potential, Oceanfoil’s wingsails represent significant financial and environmental potential for the global shipping fleet.

Media Enquiries: Ben Terry BLUE Communications T: 01865 514214 E: ben@blue-comms.com


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