WING FORCE PARTNERS
Member – International Windship Association (IWSA)
Wing Force Partners are a professional design group located in Sydney, Australia and actively developing our Wingsail technology.
We have an association with Incat Crowther, Naval Architects for the business benefi ts of both organisations.
Our goals are a huge vision but quite attainable when the WingSails, our ‘wind engines’ can be size adapted for suitable, large ships right down to recreational dinghies. We now offer to share our technology with other (ethical) groups having similar interests.
– The passing breeze may feel like a steady stream of energy but it is always turbulent, rolling and tumbling along, frequently changing its direction and speed in the length of a boat. The cruising albatross exploits these variations to effortlessly soar up, down and across the wind – wherever it needs to go.
– At Wing Force Partners we have developed unique, semi-flexible, high efficiency, aerodynamic sections to mimic the albatross. Our flapless rigs produce ‘drive’ forces from zero to full ahead, to zero, to full astern, from the apparent wind – as quickly as you can read this sentence. Apart from halyards to raise the ‘fabric’, they employ only two operational controls which can be computer operated. Even when stowed on the boom, the skin material may become an effective storm-sail. The cap and boom members add efficiency, serving several functions and becoming ‘wind fences’ which contain and direct the airflow. All forces within the ‘wind engine’ are fully or partially balanced so minimum servoassistance is only (occasionally) required for maximum efficiency. Conventional engines now use fuel management systems, instantly reacting to the load – while our rigs will anticipate the wind energy, to be trimmed for maximum affect, before the gust reaches the WingSail.
The prototype (shown) has no motor but with someone to handle the mooring lines, the sheltered, solo skipper could quietly sail it into and out of its marina pen. Once in clear water and open air (using one hand), the required power would be ‘throttled on’. Fingertip, manually sailing the yacht was always simple and enjoyable – and about as complicated as driving an automatic car. There is no clutter, winches or loose ropes tangled on the deck. When needed, the rig will assist the rudder to change the vessel’s course and reduce the rolling. That (often dangerous) ‘flying jibe’ necessary in regular sailing becomes a smooth, controlled operation. For practical and aesthetic reasons, each rig is tapered with a curved profile. Like soft sail systems, the aerodynamic curves give these wings an attractive, sculptured shape – and the colours are optional!
– Double thickness wings smoothly contain the structural members to be more efficient (less drag) than conventional sailing rigs with their large, external spars carrying sheets of cloth. In contrast, our aerodynamic sections develop and maintain laminar fl ow through 18 degrees ‘angle of attack’.
– Our unique sections and rigs are continuously being refi ned. When testing is complete, the results will be used to calculate the optimum size for each application.
– Similarly to mechanical motors, our ‘wind engines’ will have to be manufactured items, where all the components are fully co -ordinated.
– From work on the prototypes, we believe the cost of a WingSail would approximate the dollars required for an equally large, conventional sailing rig – including all its necessary spars, hardware, winches, and including the many wires and ropes. When manufacturing methods and supply chains for our technology are established, the necessary costs will inevitably decrease. Very large WingSails will obviously require special orders to be designed, built and installed at the shipyard – but will be competitively costed and quoted.
– As explained above, wind is always volatile energy and except for use in sport and special applications, will remain as supplementary power for most vessels in commercial use. However, because it is free, clean, infinitely renewable and generally available, wind must be considered for increased use – when this simple, safe technology becomes available to employ it.
– To assist this mechanical link, we anticipate that computer controls will be expanded, fine servo-assistance equipment, electric drives and variable pitch propellers will be more accepted than currently used on ships and large vessels.
On suitable vessels, motor sailing or ‘WingSail Assistance’ will become the normal operation, requiring no increase in voyage times or larger crews. Computer monitored, fuel savings of up to 50% can be anticipated with proportional reductions in the discharge of greenhouse gases. Audited carbon credits must add incentives to use that free wind!
– Associating with lncat Crowther, we are investigating the development of hybrid tourist ferries for scenic waters where pollution must be minimised.
– Speed is not our concern because that is entirely related to the vessel, its design and purpose. Subject to the wind speed, WingSails provide safe, instant, controlled power in all conditions – and are sized for many applications.
The future development and use of ‘wind engines’ opens business opportunities and huge markets in all sectors of shipping and general boating around the world.