SolarSailor patents new opening rigid wing

November 15, 2013


SolarSailor is actively looking for a global partner to trial one sail on one designated ship for one year.

131008 patent Figure1B



  • Simple – made of steel built at ship yard for low cap cost compared to competitors which are complicated, use exotic materials and expensive
  • Can change sail area and camber for different angles to wind and conditions
  • Wind only – no solar – makes it cheap and rugged
  • Fold down or ‘reef’ or ‘stow’ automatically or press of a button in minutes
  • No interference to cargo handling in port
  • Handles green water on deck
  • Mechanics in the upper hopper tank
  • Minimal penetrations of deck/space
  • Visibility in harbour
  • Stability/roll dampening effect



Bulk Shipping – Pre-Feasibility Study

•800+ sections of less than 14 nm.
•NASA Satellite/Buoy/Ship cross-calibrated ocean wind data for each section, at 10m above sea level.
•The vessel is assumed to be travelling at 7 m/s, 13.6 knots
•Leaving on the 1st of July 1987, the energy saving of an entire voyage is calculated…
•Leaving on the 2nd of July 1987, the energy saving of an entire voyage is calculated…
•This process is repeated for 8500 consecutive days, which is 22.5 years until December 2010
This provides an accurate historical mean of the energy savings from SolarSails on the modelled route.
5At every section of the voyage, the force generated by an opening
wing sail is calculated using the direction and magnitude
of the wind, incorporating the speed and direction of the ship.


Wind Direction


Windward Reaching Running

7 10 9




Assumptions: • Typical ship engine fuel consumption of 170 g/kWh • CI between 2.5 and 4
• Solar and stern wind not accounted • Voyages are return trips
• Fuel oil price of 720 USD/t • 4800 sqm of sail • No carbon price @ t x 3.5 x $25 included

Solar sailor’s solution is to have rigid wing sails that open up from a tiny wing into a much larger wing
effectively doubling or quadrupling that area and also have the masts fold down onto the deck of the vessel
where it sits flush with the openings of the cargo hulls which makes it an ideal solution as it’s easily
retrofitted and does not pose any significant difficulties to cargo handling equipment. The wings and
adjoining structures are inherently designed to have a factor of safety of 3 and 4 that make it very safe for
operations in the marine environment. All the equipment stows away neatly and effortlessly with minimal or next to no hull penetrations.

The shipping industry is on the verge of experiencing dramatic change with rising fuel costs and new
regulations as outlined in the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) driving the industry to
make drastic changes in the way it operates. Hundreds of thousands of dollars could potentially be saved by companies annually across the various shipping routes of the world.

Dr Robert Dane, WWF Futuremaker 2012 and CEO of award winning Australian technology design firm,
Solar Sailor Holdings says “There is immense energy in the oceans which can be harvested and used by
ships and we have the technology to efficiently harvest that energy”.

Energy for bulk shipping is going to be mainly harvested from the wind. Solar Sailor has developed a
software program that models the fuel and cost savings by adding renewable energy of sun and wind on any shipping route on the globe. The program is capable of taking any route across the globe and using 22 years of NASA Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform Ocean Wind data, it is able to provide an accurate historical mean of the energy savings by utilizing Solar Sails TM.

If you’d like further information on this topic or model the cost savings or schedule an interview with Dr
Robert Dane, please contact SolarSailor