How it Works
Photon Composites constructed the wing out of carbon fiber, and it is completely powered by a small photo-voltaic cell on the side of the wing.
While retrofitting a existing ferry with a wing is possible, building a wing (or two) into a new build ferry would create the most fuel efficient wing vessel and the most stable which is important when it comes to Coast Guard certification.
Once the wing is installed, all that is need to operate it is a one-button remote control, on or off; no rigging, sails, extra crew, or expertise in sailing.
Easy to Use
The ease of turning off the wing is especially important for docking, etc, when you don’t want extra power.
When wing is on, it will automatically set itself to the optimal wind angle and will start saving fuel, When it is off, it gets out of the way and acts like a giant weather vane. When off, the wing has much less windage than a traditional sailing set-up.
As shown in a recent report by UC Berkeley, the wing would be fantastically efficient in the SF Bay on the SF Ferry Building-Sausalito route as well as the SF Ferry Building-Treasure Island route. The wing would improve efficiency on other routes as well, and a new build ferry used on the SF Bay would pay itself off in fuel savings in 5 years.