A start-up company based in Toulouse is developing the prototype for a gigantic parachute-style sail that could help large ships reduce their fuel consumption by up to 20%.
The AirSeas company, created by former Airbus engineers, is aiming to create massive sails named SeaWing, with a surface area of up to 1,000m², as reported by French news source France 3. These would then be attached to large ships and cargo vessels by a 400m-long cable, helping to pull them using wind power. Not only are the sails said to be be environmentally-friendly, it is claimed that they would also help save 20% in fuel, representing billions of euros per year. Massive ships - namely the world’s 28,000 cargo freighters that measure more than 100 metres in length - are said to spend between €5 million and €10 million per year each on fuel alone; representing over half of their total operating costs.
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