Wind Powered Car Carrier - Swedish project for truly sustainable shipping

In the research project wPCC (wind Powered Car Carrier) we will develop a wind-powered vessel from concept to a technical and financially viable design ready to be built within 3-5 years. This project aims to pave the way for a paradigm shift in maritime transport by demonstrating that this new transport concept is possible even in the near future. We do not necessarily need to wait until 2050 to reach IMO's goal of 50% reduction of greenhouse gases.

With wPCC we are developing the ocean-going freighters of the future, with 80-metre-high sails. wPCC reduces emissions by as much as 90%. The goal is to be able to operate freighters with zero emissions. A transatlantic crossing with wPCC will take around twelve days, compared with the seven days it takes conventional vessels. wPCC shows that the maritime industry can bring about major change and that zero-emission shipping is possible, using wind as the main energy source.

  • 3 partners, Wallenius Marine, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and SSPA Sweden
  • Private, public and academic sectors involved
  • 27 million SEK budget
  • Financed by the Swedish Transport Administration
  • Project period: 2019-2022

The research project is called wPCC (wind Powered Car Carrier), and in September 2020 the collaboration presented the concept Oceanbird. Wallenius Marine, owns the concept and SSPA and KTH are research partners.

SSPA’s experts will contribute with extensive research, for example regarding unconventional experimental methods, aerodynamic and hydrodynamic simulation methods, risk simulation and risk mitigation and new logistics solutions. This work in itself becomes a central research result by making new methodologies and validation available to society. An important project result is the development of a free-range model that enables evaluation of potential and unthinkable risks and situations that may arise during operation of the ship.


The collaboration – an efficient Swedish cluster

wPCC is a Swedish collaborative project between Wallenius Marine, KTH and SSPA. It is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration, which is acting as a co-financier. It is an efficient cluster collaboration that draws together experts from the public and private sectors and academia.

Wallenius Marine, which is the project coordinator, owns the concept and is also contributing design and logistics expertise. KTH is addressing the challenges within areas such as aerodynamics, sailing mechanics and performance analysis. SSPA is contributing with expertise within the development and validation of new testing methods, aerodynamic and hydrodynamic simulation methods and risk simulation. This expertise will eventually be used to develop sailing vessels in other vessel segments. 

wPCC is a flagship project for Swedish maritime research. The collaboration between three of the world’s leading players is crucial to its success. Together, Wallenius Marine, KTH and SSPA provide knowledge and resources within vessel design incorporating wind propulsion. The project proves that cooperation between industry and academia can lead to significant innovations in our high-tech society.

Together, we are not just developing the transportation technology of the future, but also the next generation of engineers. Working together, we enable sustainable growth.