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ABB launches complete marine advisory and automation system to improve fuel efficiency; reduction in ship fuel consumption by up to 20%

ABB has introduced several new software applications for the marine market that will help all types of ocean vessels significantly reduce their fuel consumption. These Advisory Systems include the latest versions of ABB’s energy management system for marine applications (EMMA) and Amarcon’s Octopus solution. A vessel with an integrated power, automation and advisory system could reduce its fuel consumption by up to 20%, according to ABB.

The daily operational costs of a vessel have now surpassed its daily building costs. Fuel consumption is becoming the highest operational expenditure for every vessel of the global fleet, and one of the biggest environmental concerns. Fuel accounts for between 30-40% of the cost of running a cruise ship and between 50-60% for most merchant vessels.

Reducing fuel consumption by just 1% can mean an annual saving of $50,000 for a mid-sized bulk carrier and $300,000 a year for a large container ship.

ABB’s new ship advisory and automation systems suite incorporate a full range of vessel information and control technology that allows ship operators to monitor and calculate the optimum utilization of power on-board. The recent acquisition of Amarcon in the second quarter this year complements this portfolio and strengthens ABB’s long-term growth strategy.

Over the years, ABB’s engineers have developed intelligent solutions that aim at increasing energy efficiency and productivity of all types of vessels. In 2011, ABB launched the Onboard DC Grid, which distributes power through a single DC circuit instead of multiple connections, providing significant power savings. Earlier this year, ABB won its first order for this new system. (Earlier post.)

Also in 2011, ABB announced several improvements to its Azipod propulsion system. The new design combines improvements in the layout of the fin on the propeller increase efficiency up to 2.5% by reducing the losses from the propulsion system. Another design change for further fuel consumption savings optimizes the toe (steering) angle of the Azipod units dynamically, in addition to the angle optimization already undertaken at the vessel design stage, to provide an estimated extra 1.5% reduction in fuel consumption.

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