The students at KTH have done their part of the project – to build an Oceanbird model that sails with wind as primary energy source. With support from their teachers, they have managed to finish in time despite extraordinary circumstances.
For the last 20 years, KTH have held a course that aim to transform the passive student to an active engineer. Over the years, they have built everything from a man-powered submarines, solar powered aircraft to electric surf boards.
Impressed by the craftsmanship
When KTH professor Jakob Kuttenkeuler engaged in the research project wPCC (wind Powered Car Carrier) together with Wallenius Marine and SSPA, he immediately thought of the course. The task for the students was to build and sail a seven meter long (1:30 scale) functional Oceanbird model with four wing sails. After successfully testing the model in open water one year later, they could state: mission accomplished.
“I am impressed by the finish of the craft and that the students managed to assemble all sub-systems into a working system. The students have grown with the task and really made it their own.” says Jakob Kuttenkeuler.
Complicated by covid-19
The ten students come from all over the world. The work got more complicated by the fact that they couldn’t be in the lab as much as needed and not at the same time, due to corona restrictions. Jakob and the other two teachers in the course: Ulysse Dhomé and Stefan Hallström, had to be more involved in the practical work than they normally are. Therefore, KTH have decided to put the course on temporary hold during next year.
Intensive test period ahead
But the wPCC project is not on hold. With a fully functioning model, the testing can now be intensified by doctoral students and faculty at KTH to produce data for the research and development of the full scale ship.
“It is extremely exciting to be a part of the transition towards sustainable transport systems. This project is for real, not just driven by academia.” says Jakob. “We are affected, inspired and challenged by the determination from Wallenius Marine to sail a full scale ship in 2024. As a result, there is a positive nerve in this project which we all feel.”
wPCC is the name of the research project that is behind the concept Oceanbird. Wallenius Marine, KTH and SSPA are partners in the project, which is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration.