The Concept

What is

The Oceanbird concept?

The Oceanbird concept shows that it is possible to reduce emissions from vessels by up to 90% if all emissions-influencing factors are aligned. These conclusions are based on data simulations as well as physical tests, for example wind tunnel test, model testing in open water and water tanks and Lidar measurements. The Oceanbird concept was developed in a three-year Swedish R&D project team consisting of Wallenius Marine, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and SSPA/RISE and supported by Swedish Transport Administration.

When the Oceanbird concept is brought into the reality of commercial logistics systems, there are several challenges to consider, such as inflexible arrival time at ports and the environmental impact of longer crossings in a slower speed would have on the size of the world fleet. Still, with these factors taking into consideration, we see a significant emission reduction on the first vessels from the Oceanbird concept.

With the concept as a solid foundation – Oceanbird is taking two tracks to achieve a shipping revolution: Reducing a lot on a few and even more from a lot.

Why do

We need to move an industry?

Shipping is an energy-efficient way of transporting goods. Despite this, shipping needs to become more sustainable. Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, even more than airplanes. If the industry was a country, it would be the sixth biggest polluter, above Germany.

These emissions are projected to increase significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place swiftly. If we continue business-as-usual, the emissions will increase with 50%-250% by 2050, according to International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Therefore, IMO has set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent per transport work from international shipping by 2030 compared to 2008. Oceanbird want to take de-carbonisation one step further, by contributing to changing, updating, and remodeling an entire industry.

Cuts air and sound pollution

Besides from reducing air emissions, Oceanbird will also decrease underwater sound pollution. The Oceanbird vessels would be far quieter in the water, since it will be less sounds from generators or engines but propeller cavitation. This will mean a lot for whales and other marine mammals which depend on hearing for navigation, reproduction and finding food. Read more in this blog post about underwater sound pollution: New guidelines to protect giant climate heroes.

What about the

First vessel from the concept?

Wallenius Wilhelmsen, market leader in roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping and vehicle logistics, have announced the intention to order the first vessel from the Oceanbird concept, which they will call Orcelle Wind.

Facts/Orcelle Wind – world´s first wind-powered RoRo

Capacity: 7,100 car units but will also be capable of carrying breakbulk and rolling equipment.
Size: 217 meter long, 39 meter wide and 70 meter height above water.
Performance: Equipped with six Oceanbird Wings and a special designed hull, it will have at least 50-60 % lower emissions compared to conventional vessels operating in regular trading.
Vessel design: Wallenius Marine is leading the ship design and newbuilding project, in close collaboration with Oceanbird, Wallenius Wilhelmsen and design firm Knud E Hansen.
In operation: The ambition is to commence sailing in 2027.

To support the building of Orcelle Wind, Wallenius Wilhelmsen and 10 project partners, among them Oceanbird, have secured a Horizon Europe funding totaling EUR 9m. The five-year project is called Orcelle Horizon.

This project has received funding from European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework program under grant no 101096673.

Watch it sail

A sneak peek at the future

Early sketch Oceanbird

How it started

Oceanbird started as a concept for wind-powered shipping, and has evolved into a company for developing the wing sails. However, the partnerships formed during these early years, are still strong and continues in new forms.

Follow the development in our blog

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