Heading for decarbonation... with a bang !

WISAMO offers a wind propulsion solution developed by the Michelin industrial group. It is an inflatable wing, fully retractable and automated, adapted to all types of ships to enable them to use the driving force generated by the free and universal energy of the wind.

A wing that inflates and deflates

WISAMO – for “Wing Sail Mobility” – is an innovation of the Michelin Group, on which some 30 people are working, divided between France and Switzerland. The technology is a large inflatable wing that can be adapted to all types of ships, especially cargo ships and merchant vessels, which carry 90% of the world’s freight. The system relies on a small blower inside the wing that allows it to be shaped along a telescopic mast. Once in place, this accordion-like structure catches the wind like an airplane wing, generating a force that allows for significant reductions in fuel consumption as part of a hybridization operation to help the maritime sector meet the targets of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, and by 70% per ship globally by 2050.

The WISAMO system deploys and collapses completely autonomously, in a totally automated way, which makes it very easy to use by the crews on board: a guarantee of safety in case of unfavorable weather conditions or to facilitate the mobility of the vessel, during passage under the bridges and unloading operations at the quay. Other advantages of this solution include its ease of installation, whether for a refit on an existing vessel or for a new construction. Another advantage of this ship’s wing is its very strong upwind capability, which makes it effective for a wide variety of shipping routes. With this innovation, Michelin expects to generate fuel savings of up to 20% (or even more than 50% on a new vessel). The project, which has already been tested by yachtsman Michel Desjoyeaux on a pleasure boat, has reached a major milestone with the installation of a wing on one of the Compagnie Maritime Nantaise’s roll-on/roll-off ships that make regular trips between Spain and England.

“WISAMO is already a very successful system that ticks many boxes. It’s quite an aesthetic solution with similarities in shape reminiscent of a famous little man who makes tires! This wing has the great advantage of being adapted in a “plug & play” mode to any boat that would like to use the free energy of the wind.”

Michel Desjoyeaux, sailor and ambassador of the WISAMO project
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