ABB unveils newest Azipod thruster to growing electric propulsion market

The Azipod D couples superior reliability with ease of maintenance, requiring up to 25 percent less installed power.

Zurich, Switzerland, March 24, 2015 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today introduced a new addition, Azipod D, to its line of Azipod electric propulsion offering. 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.

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 even more choices to benefit from the higher flexibility, reliability and energy efficiency provided by Azipod propulsion technology.

“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,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Process Automation division.

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. 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.

This new Azipod thruster family member 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 of the propulsion units. The Azipod D requires up to 25 percent less installed power. This is partly due to the fact that the new hybrid cooling increases the performance of the electric motor by up to 45 percent.

ABB’s Azipod D propulsion power ranges from 1.6 megawatts to 7 megawatts (MW) 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 percent per year over the last decade, three times faster than the world’s fleet.

About Azipod propulsion system
Since its development by ABB in 1987, the Azipod electric propulsion system, a streamlined steerable pod motor mounted below the ship, with the propeller connected directly to the motor shaft, has become the preferred propulsion system across a range of shipping segments. 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.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.


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