wind powered vessels

wPCC – wind Powered Car Carrier

The wind can carry thousands of cars across the oceans

Designing a new sailing era

People have been sailing for thousands of years. The introduction of diesel engines meant faster crossings  – at the expense of the environment. When a wPCC vessel will be sailing across the oceans at 2024, it will be the world’s largest sailing vessel. It will leave 90% less emissions than today’s vessels, but it will take twelve instead of seven days to cross the Atlantic.

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.

THE COLLABORATION – an efficient Swedish cluster

wPCC is a Swedish collaborative project between Wallenius Marine, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and SSPA. It is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration, which has allocated SEK 27 million for the project. It is an efficient cluster collaboration that draws together experts from the public and private sectors and academia.

  • Wallenius Marine is the project coordinator, owns the concept and is also contributing design and logistics expertise.
  • KTH addresses 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.

We are not just developing the transportation technology of the future, but also the next generation of engineers. Working together, we enable sustainable growth. You can follow the whole process in our blog.

Logotypes Wallenius Marine SSPA KTH

The unique design of wPCC

It is a technically challenging project. The rigging and hull will work together as a single unit to harness the wind in the most efficient way. The hull has been designed for a large sailing cargo vessel that will transport heavy cargo over long distances for long periods of time. It is a mix of aeronautic and shipbuilding technology. We evaluate performance and safety by using a combination of computer simulations and physical experiments.

The sails are made of a mixture of metal and composite and will be almost 80 metres high, twice the height of those on the largest sailing vessels around today. It will be possible to ‘reef’ the sails, reducing their height to approx. 50 metres. The vessels will also be fitted with engines to
enable them to manoeuvre in and out of port.



Facts – wPCC

Displacement: 32 000 tons.
Cargo capacity: 7,000 cars.
Length: 200 meters.
Width: 40 meters.
Height incl. wings: 100 meters.
Design speed: 10 knots.
Estimated travel time across the Atlantic: 12 days, compared to approx 7 days today.
Powered by: Mainly by wind. However, it is necessary to equip the vessels with engines for safety reasons and to get in and out of harbour. Of course, we are looking at the environmentally best alternative even for that engine.
Ready to order: End of 2021.
Will be sailing: In the end of 2024.


wind powered vessels

Illustration: Mannerfelt Design Team AB

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Carl-Johan Söder

Carl-Johan Söder, Naval Architect at Wallenius Marine

The partnership is absolutely key. Between SSPA’s knowledge of model testing and advanced fluid dynamics calculations, KTH’s expertise in problem solving and our design and logistical experience, I think we’re on to a winner!

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wind powered vessels

wPCC – wind Powered Car Carrier

The wind can carry thousands of cars across the oceans

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