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Wind as main propulsion by ORCELLE

European Union
Total project cost
€9 058 728
EU Contribution
€8 989 978
Project website
Project Acronym


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS

In the ORCELLE project we will develop and demonstrate a solution for wind as main propulsion. With wind as main propulsion we mean an energy efficiency gain of more than 50% as an average saving in full year operation. Under ideal sailing conditions the energy efficiency gains are close to 100%. Engines are only used in situations with insufficient wind resources, for manoeuvring and increased ship safety.

ORCELLE builds on several large previous projects where we have worked to build simulation tools, wing systems and initial designs of a prototype vessel. In this project we combine improvements to the simulation framework and wing systems by building two physical demonstrators: A 1-wing retrofit (targeting 10% efficiency gains) and a multi-wing newbuilt demonstrator (targeting +50% efficiency gains overall). The demonstrators are RoRo (PCTC) vessels that will operate in a trans-Atlantic route transporting cars and other cargo. We have an extensive set of sensor systems onboard the ships which will allow them to function as research vessels to validate & improve designs, simulation tools and prototype designs of ship & wing systems. A tailored, dynamic weather routing software and service will be developed to optimize sailing performance.

The project is a strong opportunity to combine the investments needed to get full scale demonstration and data capture with advanced models and tools for wing propulsion vessels. The project coordinator is Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a world leading RoRo logistics operator with some 130 RoRo vessels in global service. Beyond the demonstrator, we use the models and tools to develop advanced conceptual designs and operational plans for multiple vessel types: Tanker/bulk carriers, shortsea vessels, containerships, cruise and ferries. This forms the basis for our dissemination & exploitation work to enable a large-scale shift towards wind as the main propulsion on a very high percentage of vessels (relevant for 80%+ of the world fleet).


Specific funding programme
HORIZON.2.5 - Climate, Energy and Mobility y
HORIZON.2.5.7 - Clean, Safe and Accessible Transport and Mobility
HORIZON.2.5.6 - Industrial Competitiveness in Transport
Other Programme
HORIZON-CL5-2022-D5-01-03 Exploiting renewable energy for shipping, in particular focusing on the potential of wind energy (ZEWT Partnership)
Funding Source
Horizon Europe


Lead Organisation
Partner Organisations


Technology Theme
Energy efficiency
Wind assisted propulsion
Development phase

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