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Seaspeed collaborates with Rolls Royce Marine to develop commercial ship wave foils under an Innovate UK R&D programme.
Seaspeed was awarded R&D funding by Innovate UK along with Rolls Royce Marine (acting as prime contractor) and MOST, to develop wave foil technology for commercial shipping applications.
Wave foils are essentially streamlined hydrofoil shaped fins connected to the hull of a vessel, that generate lift and drag by nature of the varying flow into them from orbital wave motion and vessel pitch, roll and/or heave motions. This technology has in the past been trialled to aid the propulsion of a number of ships and boats and, more recently, for the propulsion of small unmanned vessels.
Prior to this contract Seaspeed had assisted MOST in the hydrodynamic development of propulsion wave foils, during the development of the Autonaut unmanned vehicle. The success of this propulsion system, and the concurrent interest of Rolls Royce in foil assisted propulsion for commercial shipping, led to a joint proposal being submitted and accepted under the UK Government’s recent Vessel Efficiency programme.
Seaspeed has led the hydrodynamic development and tank testing phase of this R&D programme which has resulted in a range of wave foil designs being developed and tested on constrained and free running ship models. Seaspeed has also concurrently developed and verified software to simulate the use of wave foils on ships. The development programme is ongoing with final results expected during 2015.