Wind propulsion aided by autonomous solution

eConowind unit eConowind's Ventifoils can be rotated automatically to find the optimal angles relative to the apparent wind. Credit: eConowind

eConowind has finished land-testing for its autonomous wind propulsion unit with ‘aspirated wing-profiles’ which act as sails for ships and help them lower emissions.

The eConowind foldable unit comprises a 40ft container which deploys two folding out ‘VentiFoils’ that are ridged ‘aspirated wing-profiles’ which act as sails. The unit will be mounted on the hatchcovers of Lady Christina of WijnneBarends Delfzijl for testing in the North Sea and Baltic Sea and measurement of the generated thrust.

After the wings are deployed, the Ventifoils can be rotated automatically to find the optimal angles relative to the apparent wind. Smart suction is integrated in the wing, resulting in double the force of the Ventifoil while reefing when needed.

Conowind, based in the Netherlands, expects to start commercial production and delivery of eConowind-units in Q2 2019.


Norsepower has raised EUR3.6m in equity funding which it will use to expand production of its Rotor Sails in Asia, as well as increase its search for potential supplier partners within the region. It will also use the money to raise market awareness of wind propulsion technology and accelerate growth, plus optimise and streamline its manufacturing operations for greater cost efficiency.

Wind propulsion hub

A new regional wind propulsion hub will be formed in the coming months around a core of wind propulsion projects from the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia.

International Windship Association (IWSA) Europe North Sea & Baltic will aim to further strengthen regional networks, develop education and training programs and share best practice and to work together with stakeholders from across the industry to further help develop, promote and ultimately build wind assist and primary wind vessels.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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