DNV Awards Michelin First AiP For WISAMO Inflatable Wing Sail

Nantes, France, 10 February 2023. Classification society DNV has awarded an AiP to Michelin for their WISAMO wing sail system. This is the first AiP to have been awarded to an inflatable wing sail design and is currently being installed for testing on the DNV classed MN Pélican.

First introduced in 2021, the WISAMO sail is an inflatable, retractable, automated wing sail which can be installed on commercial vessels and pleasure boats. The sail is automated with a system developed by Michelin R&D and is retractable for access into ports and under bridges. The AiP has been awarded based on DNV’s WAPS ST-0511 standard.

The initial tests of a WISAMO sail were carried out on a sailing yacht. Currently installation of a 100m2 system in being undertaken on the DNV classed MN Pelican. The 155m long, 8,600 dwt Compagnie Maritime Nantaise ro-ro cargo vessel, operates under charter to Brittany Ferries and sails between Poole, Great Britain and Bilbao, Spain. This will allow testing of the system under commercial maritime navigation conditions.

The certificate presentation with a model of the installation on the MN Pelican. From L to R (Davis Bertrand, Key Account Manager – DNV, Gildas Quemeneur, CEO – WISAMO, Edouard Leveau, Technical Manager – Maritime Nantaise)

“We are very pleased to receive this AIP for the WISAMO solution, said Gildas Quemeneur, Initiative Leader at Michelin. “It is a very important step forward the further development of this innovative solution to contribute to maritime transport decarbonization. We are now ready for the wing sail usage on MN Pelican Ro-Ro that will allow experimental tests in heavy maritime conditions. All returns of experience will now contribute to build the larger WISAMO wing sail.”

“For the maritime industry to reach the ambitious decarbonization targets that have been set by regulators and increasing demanded by stakeholders, we need to look to enabling technologies that can boost vessel performance, reduce fuel use, and enhance sustainability,” said Hasso Hoffmeister, Senior Principal Engineer at DNV Maritime.

“This is why we are seeing a growing interest in WAPS for owners where the combination of compliance strategy, vessel type, and route offer potential benefits. However, as with every novel technology, acceptance and uptake can only grow from a foundation of trust, supported by rigorous, trusted and evolving technical standards. We are very pleased to award Michelin this AiP and look forward to working with them as the project progresses.”

DNV’s WAPS ST-0511 standard provides a framework for the verification and certification of wind assistance propulsion systems. It can be applied in obtaining an Approval in Principle, a Design Approval or a Type approval. These verifications and certifications can also be obtained as part of the integration into a vessel or independently. The ST-0511 technical standard is a complement to the DNV WAPS class notation, which is focussed on the integration of systems onboard vessels, whether retrofitted or as part of a newbuilding.

An Approval in Principle is an independent assessment of a concept within an agreed framework, confirming that the design is feasible, and no significant obstacles exist to prevent the concept from being realized. The AIP is typically carried out at an early stage of a project to confirm its feasibility towards the project team itself, company management, external investors or future regulators.

DNV is also member of the International Windship Association and aims to use its membership to further support and accelerate the uptake of wind-assisted propulsion systems by the global shipping fleet.

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