ABB unveils new fuel saving concept for larger ships

MARCH 14, 2014 — ABB is launching a new Dynamic AC (DAC) concept that optimizes engine speed, leading to significant fuel savings.

ABB says that the concept has been created with a simple electrical system configuration using existing and proven ABB components and that for a large cruise ship, for example, up to 6 percent (or up to 2,000 tons of fuel) of annual savings can be achieved by engine speed optimization.

DAC adjusts the rotational speed of the diesel generating sets, allowing the system frequency to vary within the specified range. Currently, many ships still run with their generators at a set speed, regardless of the power requirement, creating a surplus of wasted energy. The medium voltage power system in the ship is specially engineered for variable frequency, including component design and system integration. Distribution for the auxiliary and hotel loads is provided by frequency converters or directly from the variable frequency system.

"No matter what bunker costs are now, shipowners look to the long term and always want ways to maximize fuel efficiency," says Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB's Marine and Ports business. "Once again, our strong emphasis on research and development has produced a solution of great business value to our customers."

Dynamic AC joins the Onboard DC Grid in ABB's portfolio of power distribution products aimed at significantly increasing ship fuel efficiency. While the Onboard DC Grid can improve the performance of vessels with a lower power requirement, DAC is aimed at larger ships with a power of 20 MW or more.

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