Kongsberg launches new space-saving retractable azimuth thruster seriesWritten by Nick Blenkey
Aimed at vessel designs in which onboard space is limited, Kongsberg Maritime’s new ULE PM series retractable azimuth thrusters are smaller than competing units while maintaining thrust power.
The result of a long design process focused on reducing size and boosting efficiency, the ULE PM type thruster has an integrated electric prime mover mounted very low between the steering gear. This saves more than a meter of vertical space in an engineering compartment.
According to Kongsberg, the ULE PM Type is the smallest retractable unit on the market for any given power requirement.
Kongsberg’s designers also focused on making the new thruster series easy to install and maintain.
“We took a hard look at our thruster design after seeing the challenges our customers face finding the right equipment with optimal size-to-performance ratios and that work with their vessel designs and operating profiles,” says Pasi Villanen, product manager for retractable thrusters at Kongsberg Maritime. “Thanks to thorough testing, these new ULE PM type thrusters are now the best performing units in their size, which makes them a perfect choice for auxiliary propulsion.”
All ULE PM type thrusters are available as a Combi unit, which functions as an azimuth for maneuvering and dynamic positioning, or as a tunnel thruster when retracted into a tunnel. The Combi units have optimized drivetrains and hydrodynamics for high thrust and fast response time, allowing the number and size of propulsion units in a vessel to be reduced.
Kongsberg’s Hydrodynamic Research Center conducted multiple simulations and tests on the new thruster series, leading to new, patent-pending concepts for the ULE PM Combi thrusters, including optimized unit-to-hull interaction and a new nozzle profile.