As a type of natural energy resource, wind power is used in the modern implementation of wind-assisted technologies as a method for reducing the fuel consumption and environmental pollution of ocean-going ships. In order to promote the full usage of ocean wind energy for cargo ships, an innovative type of ship propulsion-assisted wing sail is proposed in this paper. The propulsion efficiency of this new wing sail can be increased by enlarging its area in both the transverse and vertical directions in good weather conditions, and it can be folded up automatically in poor weather conditions, improving the sailing safety of the ship. The sail parameters relating to the gaps and rotation angles between different parts of the wing sail are compared, and the values giving the best aerodynamic performance are identified using CFD simulation technology. The results for the lift and drag coefficients for the new wing sail at different attack angles are also compared with those of traditional aerofoil sails, including an arc-shaped rigid sail and a variable-camber sail proposed in 2015. From the viewpoint of the sailing performance of the vessel, our results demonstrate that this new type of wing sail has good aerodynamic performance and can reduce fuel costs for commercial vessels.
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