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Converting wave power to propulsion power

Based in Trondheim, Norway, new Seawork exhibitor Wavefoil AS makes retractable bow foils modules (underwater wings) for vessels.

It has been known for over 150 years that vessels with bow wings or foils can be partly or solely propelled by wave energy. The foils generate lift when the vessel is moving up and down in waves, and the lift typically has a forward thrust component larger than the drag. Put simply, wave power is directly converted into propulsive power.

A vessel in waves experiences additional resistance compared to calm-water operation. For wave lengths similar to the hull length, this additional resistance will be amplified due to resonance, implying large heave and pitch motion. Wavefoil has developed retractable bow foils that damp the motion so that the additional resistance decreases, providing significant fuel savings, reduced motion and a more comfortable experience at sea

The Mediterranean-based vessel Krilo Lux was recently retrofitted with Wavefoil(TM) retractable bow foils. During the sea trial, Captain Anton Bonifacic said, "Today the sea had long waves, 1.5 m high. Earlier we had to reduce speed, but after installing Wavefoil we can operate at normal speed (28 kts). The ship behaves totally different, and we are very happy. The test was done with waves from all directions, and the ship behaves very well in all wave directions."

Increased comfort, reduced vibrations, less spray, increased operability and the ability to maintain higher speeds in waves using less power are all benefits of bow foils. Depending on the vessel, its speed, the foil size and location, and wave conditions, foils can typically save 5-15% fuel.

Wavefoil is the first to develop its commercial and patent-pending retractable bow foil solution, retractability being seen as crucial for such foils to be a commercial success.

Exhibitor; Wavefoil
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