Massive Inflatable Sails Could Cut Shipping’s Carbon Footprint

Massive Inflatable Sails Could Cut Shipping’s Carbon Footprint

Michelin’s new wing-sails are getting a lot of attention as new regulations put pressure on the shipping industry to reduce their carbon footprint. Michelin’s sail project is part of the company’s new sustainability and innovation strategy. They presented the sails along with a new racing tire containing 46% of sustainable materials and a puncture-proof airless green tire.

Maritime transportation is considered the backbone of global trade and the global economy. The sector employs billions of people around the world and sustains the way of life as we know it today. World fuels, raw materials, food, technology, medicines, there is no sector that is left untouched by maritime transport. However, the sector faces criticism due to its contribution to climate change, and new laws have set tight targets for it to cut CO2 emissions rapidly.

The Wing Sail Mobility WISAMO is a group of 30 experts working with Michelin in Europe on a solution for the industry. Michelin’s idea is not to rebuild the global fleet of hundreds of thousands of ships but to update them with new hybrid technology. WISAMO says their automated, telescopic, inflatable wing sail system can be fitted on both merchant ships and pleasure craft. They work with one goal in mind, “to decarbonize global maritime transport, the big ships that transport 90% of world freight,” Benoit Baisle Daillez, WISAMO Initiative leader, says.

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Freight Cargo Fleet Reaching Destination
Massive Inflatable Sails Could Cut Shipping's Carbon Footprint 3

WISAMO’s new technology presents a simple but effective and green tech solution to the maritime carbon footprint problem. The massive 3,000 square foot sails can reduce fuel up to 20%. An automated air compressor system inflates and deflates when a ship enters a port, needs to cross a bridge, or faces extreme weather. Unlike normal sails, the WISAMO sail has a wing-style double edge form that increases performance and endurance as fleets face the conditions of open seas. The sail was designed as a plug-and-play device that can be easily installed and operated.

The impact of maritime transport is critical. They are responsible for generating more than 950 million tonnes of CO2 globally, roughly 3% of total global greenhouse emissions. The sector produces the same amount of CO2 as the airplane industry. European regulations call for global emissions to be cut by 40% by 2030 and the shipping industry must cut emissions by 70% by 2050. “Shipowners understand that if they do nothing, they are going to disappear,” the WINSAMO teams say. Ro-Ros, bulk cargos, oil and gas tankers, and container ships sailing our global oceans could soon be outfitted with this new technology, not only reducing costs but contributing to the green shift of the maritime industry.

Source : ScreenRant, Michelin/Twitter

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