ABB has launched a new Azipod propulsion unit that aims to be up to 10% more efficient than its previous versions.
The new linear flow Azipod XL introduces a new nozzle with stator plates, which directs the water flow from the propeller to reduce the turbulence and energy loss and to give the optimum thrust for the vessel.
Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business, said: “The new Azipod XL is completely in step with the needs of the maritime industry.”
He added: “Ship owners always want solutions which improve their bottom line whilst more stringent emission regulations are pushing operators to utilize the most efficient propulsion system possible.”
It is a quarter of a century since the first installation of an Azipod unit, in that time they have racked up more than 12m running hours, saving 700,000 tonnes of fuel in the process.
Azimuth propulsion works by drawing water into the propeller and pulling the vessel, therefore the addition of a nozzle will hope to optimise the water flow as it leaves the propeller.
All the improvements have been tested extensively using scaled versions in laboratory conditions.
Mr Koskela added: “Azipod propulsion is widely used in the cruise industry and on many complex specialized offshore vessels.”
“However improved fuel efficiency and bollard pull of the Azipod XL will increase its competitiveness into new sectors such as tugs, ferries and LNG tankers.”
The Azipod XL concept can be designed to give high bollard pull thrust at lower speed and still have good characteristics at higher speeds.
This improved performance along with better fuel efficiency and 360-degree manoeuvrability makes the Azipod XL ideal for a wider range of vessels.
Smart sensors installed in the units send data to ABB’s Integrated Operations Centres, allowing the company to gain insight into important aspects of the Azipod unit that are vital for maintenance.