Solid Sail/AeolDrive: The most advanced and innovative solution of sailing propulsion of the large ships market.
Increasing cruise ships’ energy efficiency and lowering their impact on the environment are two of the main objectives of “Ecorizon”, Chantiers de l’Atlantique R&D program.
After the launch of the first concept ship equipped of sails, Eoseas, in 2009, Chantiers de l’Atlantique has been developing a type of sails suitable for large cruise ships. From these intensive research was born Solid Sail, a large, rigid sail made of composite rectangles assembled together.
This system pushes far beyond the usual limitations regarding the size of standard fabric sails, which are much more fragile beyond a certain size.
From 2016 to 2019, a series of tests and trials in various conditions confirmed the project relevance. Chantiers de l’Atlantique thus started designing an appropriate rig. This is how, in 2019, the solution known as Solid Sail/Aeoldrive was brought to life. The Aeoldrive rig was first put to test with a 50 m² sail, installed on a 1:5 scale demonstrator. A new demonstrator will be installed directly on Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s industrial site in the summer of 2021.
This new demonstrator, made of a 1,200 m² sail mounted on a rig able to rotate through 360° and to tilt at a 70° angle will be used to test the main features of the concept and their automation systems. This final validation step will pave the way for Solid Sail/Aeoldrive commercialization and eventually, its installation on large cruise ships such as Silenseas.