A new propulsion concept, ABB DynafinTM, presented recently by the Zurich-based engineering company, is set to reduce energy consumption, increase uptime, cut maintenance costs, and save valuable engine room space on board ships. The company estimates that energy savings of up to 25% are likely to be demonstrated and verified.
ABB revealed that development of the new electric propulsion technology which, it claims, ‘mimics the movements of a whale tail’, is now at detailed design stage, with the first pilot installation expected in 2025/26. Open water lake trials have already been successfully completed.
The Dynafin system builds on ABB’s Azipod technology which has been in operation for more than 30 years, with the first system installed on an icebreaker in 1991. More than 700 Azipod units are now in operation today.
Initially, Dynafin technology will be suitable for small- to medium-sized vessels, particularly those requiring good manoeuvring capabilities, position-keeping, and wider operating windows. Reduced noise will increase comfort on board, the company said.
Propulsion systems will initially be available in the power range between one and four megawatts, and two Dynafin installations are likely to be required on each vessel. Eventually, as the technology is developed further, up to four systems could be installed, providing a power range from 2-16 MW.
ABB Marine & Ports’ division president, Juha Koskela, said: “ABB Dynafin shows what is possible when marine engineers pursue radical innovation and progress, inspired by the interplay of evolution and technology. This solution is all about operational efficiency and emissions avoidance, leverage innovations from the brightest minds in marine and propulsion engineering.”
ABB releases details of ‘revolutionary’ propulsion system