Summarizing 2023: How far have we come? 

January 25, 2024

In the pursuit of revolutionizing maritime transportation, Orcelle Horizon has embarked on an ambitious journey with a clear vision: the development of the world's first wind-powered pure truck carrier, the Orcelle Wind. This collaborative effort among 11 European partners, spearheaded by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, aims to transform the industry's landscape by harnessing wind power to drive sustainability while maximizing efficiency.

The project’s scope encompasses a multifaceted approach targeting vessel design, extensive data analysis (including vessel, routing, and weather data), wing design, and a reimagined business model. The primary objective is to optimize vessel efficiency, significantly reducing energy demand and carbon emissions compared to conventional fossil-fueled counterparts, as we use wind power for main propulsion.  

The year 2023 witnessed substantial strides within the consortium, underscoring the commitment to progress and innovation: 

  • Regulatory Initiatives: DNV, supported by the consortium, initialised the process of informing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) about Orcelle, focusing on the crucial regulatory aspects of wind propulsion. A presentation is planned during the upcoming IMO MSC 108 meeting in 2024. 
  • Prototype Advancements: Notable headway was achieved in the production and installation of the land-based pilot system, and the retrofitting of the one-wing vessel Tirranna. Along with the completion of a tender design for the multi-wing vessel, these efforts marked significant milestones. However, timelines for certain vessel milestones might be subject to yard capacity and market dynamics as we move forward. 
  • Technological Innovations: The development of a sophisticated MATLAB tool by NTUA played an important role in exploring optimal design strategies. StormGeo’s provision of weather data for simulations also added valuable insights into refining the project’s trajectory. 
  • Wing Design: Oceanbird secured Approval in Principle for the Oceanbird Wing 560 from DNV, which signified a significant leap forward. With ongoing efforts towards setting up the full-scale prototype underway, we plan for the assembly of the first wing to commence in 2024. 

With the official project kickoff in January 2023, the initial months primarily focused on internal setup, management structuring, exhaustive studies, and intricate designs.

Encouragingly, progress remained robust throughout 2023, without any significant delays as we enter the project’s second year.