Wavefoil AS is a newly established technology company, spinning off from the Department of Marine Technology at NTNU. The company is commercializing a patent-pending wavefoil, which is a result of seven years of partially industrially financed research. The foils reduce fuel costs substantially and increase the comfort for crew and passengers on vessels.
Waves give ships increased resistance and undesirable motions. This results in both increased fuel consumption and reduced comfort. Instead of fighting the forces, the idea is to use the waves as energy source. This is not new and the principle is recognized by the ship industry.
Through his doctoral thesis, Eirik Bøckmann has studied the benefits of using wings placed in the bow of the ship to "steal" energy from the waves. In the following, such a wing is denoted a wavefoil or foil module. For certain ship hulls and wave conditions, such wavefoils can reduce a ship's fuel consumption by up to 30% at normal operating speeds. This is a significant reduction.
The Wavefoil product is installed in the ship hull, with actuators for retraction and deployment of wavefoils on starboard and port side. The foils are constructed in carbon fiber to withstand the large forces that may occur and will in deployed condition not make the ship wider than with the foils retracted.
The aim with the FORNY project is to bring Wavefoil from TRL 4 to TRL 6. Technically, the project will verify if such wavefoils can withstand the large forces they are subjected to during the lifetime of a ship. Commercial verification includes marked clarification, cost calculations, as well as establishing a supply chain toward yard and ship owner. CoFounder assists the company's management and has experience with commercializing marine-technical innovations through the growth of Marine Cybernetics, which was sold to DNV GL in 2014.