Chantiers de l’Atlantique announced today that it will install a prototype of its Solid Sail/AeolDrive at the shipyard. The news came during a press event held aboard the MSC Virtuosa in Saint-Nazaire.
Under development for more than a decade, the Solid Sail project hopes to eventually bring wind power to mid-sized cruise ships, in the 200-meter-long range. The eventual goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent using wind power.
The prototype will be one of the tallest composite masts of the world, towering 95 meters above the ground when it is installed in 2022. The centerpiece of the system, the rigging named AeolDrive – a mast tiltable through 70° – will support the Solid Sail, a 1,200 m² sail made entirely of composite materials.
This installation will split into two phases. The first one with a 38 m long mast and a sail of 550 m² during the fall of 2021, and the second a year later on a 1:1 scale.
A previous 1:5 scale prototype has been tested on a pier for the last two years.
“A collective dynamic has been established around the Solid Sail /AeolDrive project, thanks to the mobilization of many regional players. It is based on companies with a solid and renowned reputation which now want to explore a new and promising market.” stated Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “We are going to maintain this momentum so that we can move up a gear when, after the final phase of testing, we can move on to the marketing of a solution adapted to the current and future challenges of an even more environmentally friendly navigation system.”