OceanWings® 2.1 - Gwalaz
VPLP Design and Kaïros : Two Interweaving Stories of Eco-Innovation
Based on the rigid wingsails used by the America’s Cup and after a discussions and conceptual design phases to overcome their limitations, the idea of a wind propulsor that would overcome their limitations was born, its name : Oceanwings®.
While keeping the efficency of the aerodynamics of the rigid wingsails, it allows surface reduction (both reefability and lowerability), automation and industrialization of the system.
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.