Hydrogen powered Energy Observer fitted with wingsail technology

Hydrogen powered Energy Observer fitted with wingsail technology
The Energy Observer vessel. Image courtesy of Energy Observer

Energy Observer, the first hydrogen-powered vessel, has been equipped with Oceanwings wingsails.

Wingsails is a hybrid propulsion system comprised of a composite 12m high mast and two 32m2 sails. The technology will reduce Energy Observer’s energy expenditure between 18 and 42 per cent.

Wingsails are designed by VPLP Design and jointly developed and manufactured at CNIM’s industrial facilities in La Seyne-sur-Mer, southeastern France.

At the end of 2017, CNIM and VPLP Design signed a technological partnership agreement for design and manufacture of the Oceanwings propulsion system. The partnership took up the challenge of designing a product suitable for industrial production. The Oceanwings wingsails have now reached maturity, with the first two being integrated in the Energy Observer vessel.

“We offer an industrial product with high added value that meets not only the performance levels expected by our customers but also the economic constraints imposed by the market,” said Philippe Lazare, chief executive, CNIM Industrial Systems Division.

“Oceanwings wingsails will undoubtedly find their place in fields as diverse as recreational sailing, yachting, maritime transport (bulk carriers, chemical tankers, oil tankers, etc.) and offshore fishing,” added Marc Van Peteghem, joint founder of VPLP Design.