SEPTEMBER 6, 2016 — ABB says that the latest version of its podded electric propulsion system, the Azipod XL, increases vessel fuel efficiency by as much as 20 percent compared to modern shaft line propulsion systems.
The efficiency gain 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.
"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," said Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB's Process Automation division. "To put it in perspective, replacing all existing Azipod units with the new model would save the shipping industry an additional 2.2 million tons of fuel and 7 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years."
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.
Azipod XL's features include the capability for advanced condition monitoring utilizing 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.
Since the first installation 25 years ago, Azipod propulsion systems have accumulated more than 12 million running hours with an availability of 99.8%, saving over 700,000 tons of fuel, helping to reduce the maritime carbon dioxide footprint.