The Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project is an automated, telescopic, inflatable wing sail system that can be fitted on both merchant ships and pleasure craft
The system is the product of a collaborative venture between Michelin Research & Development and two Swiss inventors who share the Group’s ’all-sustainable’ vision.
The WISAMO inflatable wing sail is a revolutionary inflatable design that enables a ship to reduce its fuel consumption and thereby have a positive impact on the environment by lowering CO2 emissions.
Designed and developed by the WISAMO project team, the system is installable on most merchant ships and pleasure craft. Especially suitable for roro ships, bulk carriers and oil and gas tankers, it can be fitted as original equipment on newbuilds or retrofitted on in-service vessels.
The developer Michelin, a global tyre manufacturer, claims the wing’s range of use is one of the market’s broadest, with proven effectiveness on many points of sail and especially when close-hauled (windward).
It can be used on every maritime shipping route. The telescopic mast is retractable, making it easy for a ship to enter harbours and pass under bridges.
Michelin believes the system can improve a ship’s fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
WISAMO is a collaboration with Michel Desjoyaux, a world-renowned skipper and ambassador of the project.
He said, “The advantage of wind propulsion is that wind energy is clean, free, universal and totally non-controversial. It offers a very promising avenue to improving the environmental impact of merchant ships.”
The WISAMO system will first be fitted on a merchant ship* in 2022, when Michelin expects it to go into production following completion of the trial phase.
* Michelin has chosen to use an illustration of a merchant vessel with a forward superstructure. This has the unfortunate impact of making it look like the vessel is sailing backwards when under wind power