As the foundation for ship electrification, electrical propulsion allows the full integration of power systems and equipment on board, offering significant gains in safety, efficiency and sustainability. Electrical setup also enables a higher level of flexibility, allowing for integration of a wide range of power sources – both existing and new, such as fuel cells and batteries.
When ABB’s Azipod® propulsion was launched 30 years ago, it revolutionized the marine industry. Housed within a pod outside the ship hull, the electric drive motor in the Azipod® system can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability while minimizing noise and vibrations. Crucially, it also improves operating efficiency, boosting a ship’s hydrodynamic performance and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent when compared with a traditional shaft line setup.
ABB’s forward-thinking approach extends to its power systems, which include everything from low- and medium-voltage AC to advanced DC-based arrangements. Its Onboard DC Grid™ power system platform delivers efficiency gains to ships of today and future-proofs them for operations of tomorrow, facilitating the seamless integration of a variety of energy sources. In addition, by allowing generators to run at variable speeds, Onboard DC Grid™ outperforms traditional fixed-speed AC systems, decreasing engine wear and providing greater fuel efficiency at low loads.
Completing the fully integrated ecosystem is ABB shore connection technology, which enables sustainable operations for both large and small vessels.
Enabled by electrification, digital and connected solutions give crews the tools they need to monitor and optimize vessel efficiency, meaning that data-driven decisions can be made anywhere and at any time – a crucial step in the journey towards autonomous shipping.
Furthermore, the integrated bridge-to-propeller system is supplied by a single vendor, allowing simple, flexible installation and lifecycle support for new and existing vessels. With a portfolio of turnkey solutions for ship and shore, ABB is paving the way for a safer, greener and more efficient future for the marine industry.