ABB Azipod XL, the latest version of ABB`s market leading podded electric propulsion system, further increases vessel fuel efficiency to an unprecedented level of up to 20 percent compared to modern shaft line propulsion systems.
ABB is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact.
The efficiency gain of the new version is achieved by a unique nozzle system that accelerates the water flow into the propeller to increase thrust, and by redesigning the thruster for reduced water resistance, said a statement from the company.
Since the first installation 25 years ago, Azipod propulsion systems have accumulated more than 12 million running hours with an availability of 99.8 per cent, saving over 700,000 tonnes of fuel, helping to reduce the maritime carbon dioxide footprint, it said.
An industry standard for the marine industry, Azipod propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system with the electric drive motor located in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. Having 360-degree manoeuvrability, it is used to steer and drive a broad variety of vessels at the same time, it added.
Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s process automation division, said: “We continuously strive to advance our technology to the benefit of our customers and the environment, as part of our Next Level strategy.”
“Azipod XL is a perfect example for this approach as it represents the biggest jump in the systems’ fuel efficiency in recent years,” he said.
“To put it in perspective, replacing all existing Azipod units with the new model would save the shipping industry an additional 2.2 million tonnes of fuel and 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years,” he added.
The Azipod XL concept can be designed to give high bollard pull thrust at lower speed and still have good characteristics at higher speeds. Thus it fits vessels such as tugs and offshore construction vessels. Other suitable ship types are ferries and LNG tankers, said a statement.
Azipod XL’s features include the capability for advanced condition monitoring utilising ABB’s concept of the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) and its Integrated Operations Centers for Marine, continuously monitoring equipment and performance parameters of more than 600 vessels, it added.