An impressive new offering for the good of marine electric propulsion systems was recently unveiled by ABB — one that requires, quite impressively, up to 25% less installed power than earlier models.
This new model, known as the Azipod D, also allows for greater design flexibility, as compared to other systems — as the design precludes the need for rudders, stern transversal thrusters, and/or long shaft lines.
“We’re excited to expand the Azipod propulsion family and make the benefits of electric propulsion available to a wider range of ships. Shipowners and operators demand solutions that are reliable and improve their competitiveness in a volatile market — the Azipod D is our answer to these demands,” stated Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Process Automation division.
Given the ABB Azipod D’s improved energy efficiency, use of the system will allow ship owners and operators to lower operation costs — via lower fuel use. Lower fuel use also, of course, means lower carbon emissions — which are worth making note of and taking into account when considering what system to use.
Here are a couple of more details, via a recent ABB press release:
ABB’s Azipod D propulsion power ranges from 1.6 megawatts to 7 megawatts per unit.
The characteristics of Azipod propulsion make it particularly appealing to the offshore shipping segments where most vessels operate in dynamic positioning mode and require highest reliability. In conjunction with electric propulsion, Azipod propulsion system is the ideal solution to meet varying power demand, high propulsion efficiency and flexibility, all of which are typical requirements of the of the offshore industry.
According to Clarkson’s Research, the leading shipbroker and research firm, the number of vessels with electric propulsion has been growing at a pace of 12% per year over the last decade, 3 times faster than the world’s fleet.
Sounds like good news to me. Given the enormous quantities of goods shipped across the world’s oceans in modern times, improvements to efficiency are always to be commended, and this is a big one.
Image Credit: ABB
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