New ABB Azipod D for electric marine propulsion requires 25% less installed power, boosts flexibility
|Azipod D. Click to enlarge.|
ABB has introduced a new offering, Azipod D, to its line of Azipod marine electric propulsion systems. This new product will allow a wider range of vessel types to benefit from the proven reliability and flexibility that have made Azipod the leading propulsion system across numerous ship types.
Azipod Propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system in which the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. A ship with Azipod Propulsion does not need rudders, long shaftlines or stern transversal thrusters. This new Azipod D provides designers and ship builders with increased design flexibility in order to accommodate a wide range of hull shapes and propeller sizes, as well as simplicity of installation. The Azipod D requires up to 25% less installed power. This is partly due to the fact that the new hybrid (air and water) cooling helps reduce the thruster’s weight and directs more power toward propulsion of the ship, not cooling requirements. The performance of the electric motor is increased by up to 45%.
ABB’s Azipod D propulsion power ranges from 1.6 megawatts to 7 megawatts (MW) per unit.
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, three times faster than the world’s fleet.
ABB’s gearless Azipod propulsion system is already the preferred choice of cruise vessels, icebreakers, ice-going cargo vessels and offshore accommodation ships. With the Azipod D, shipping segments such as offshore drilling, construction and support vessels and ferries will have more choices to benefit from the higher flexibility, reliability and energy efficiency provided by Azipod propulsion technology.
The electric propulsion behind ABB’s Azipod units enables ship owners and operators to enjoy higher profitability of their vessels by lowering maintenance costs and cutting fuel consumption.
Fuel consumption—and thus exhaust emissions—are reduced due to improved hydrodynamic efficiency and the power plant concept.
Improved hydrodynamic efficiency is a result of reduced hull resistance when traditional shaftline and related brackets can be eliminated and optimum hull design can be utilized. Also, the Azipod unit propeller is a pulling type propeller which operates in a better wake field and thus induces lower pressure pulses to the hull.
The power plant concept provides fuel savings by optimizing the loading of the diesel engines. The power management system connects or disconnects diesel generator sets to the network depending on the vessel power requirement, reducing both inefficient low load operation and running hours of the diesel engines.
Benefits of the Azipod D propulsion system also include superior maneuverability, competitive investment cost, ease of service and maintenance, and a significant performance increase compared to mechanical thrusters.
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 meets varying power demand, while delivering high propulsion efficiency and flexibility, all of which are typical requirements of the of the offshore industry.
Since its development by ABB in 1987, the entire installed Azipod unit base has accumulated more than 11 million operating hours, helping ship owners save up to 20% on fuel.
The unit power of Azipod propulsion systems is available up to 22 MW. Today, the total power output of all installed and ordered Azipod units is more than 4,000 MW, which corresponds to the power consumption of Greater London.