At the end of September 2023 Airbus announced it is to equip one of the vessels it uses to transport aircraft subassemblies, chartered from shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, with a wind-assisted propulsion technology that captures wind energy to generate thrust and, therefore, delivers savings in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The eSAIL®, developed by the Spain-based firm bound4blue, creates as much as six to seven times more lift than a conventional rigid sail. It consists of a sail-like vertical surface and an electric-powered air suction system that helps the airflow to re-adhere to the sail, generating additional lift and thereby reducing the load on the ship’s main engines.
Three 22m-high eSAILs® will be fitted to the Ville de Bordeaux ahead of a six-month performance monitoring period starting early 2024. Ville de Bordeaux regularly ferries A320 Family subassemblies from Europe to Mobile in the United States for final assembly.
Fitting the eSAILs® on Ville de Bordeaux supports Airbus’ commitment to halve CO2 emissions from its maritime operations by 2030, compared to a 2015 baseline. According to bound4blue estimations, these eSAILs® could deliver fuel and CO2 emissions savings of up to 560 tons and 1,800 tons respectively for this ship annually.
The installation of eSAILs® on the Ville de Bordeaux is co-funded by the European Union.
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