Pods for a rising market

The design and operating benefits conferred by podded electric drives are finding increasing favor throughout the industry, as manifested in the growing application list involving cruise ships.

icebreakers, offshore vessels, specialized tankers, and, most recently, RoRo passenger ferry and ice-going crude oil carrier newbuildings.

So as to better maintain the business momentum and broaden the market reach for the technology, Finnish electrical engineering innovator ABB PODS Industry is promoting a new Azipodderived design bred specifically for smaller vessel types.

While the main Azipod series has been engineered for unit powers up to 25- MW, the recently unveiled Compact Azipod has been conceived for applications in the range from 400 kW to five MW. It addresses not only the fundamental requirement of smaller ships such as ferries and offshore service vessels for maneuverability and slow-speed control, but also for cost-efficiency as regards both system installation, ship design and operation.

Not only does Azipod have the longest track record among the various, competing pod designs, its service experience encompasses the smallest applications to date for the generic type as well as the higher power concentrations. In fact, the system made its debut nine years ago in a waterway service vessel equipped with a 1.5-MW pod, and has also been fitted in unit sizes down to 560-kW. as used in an Austrian river icebreaker.

However, the Compact Azipod is distinct from its forerunner in form and certain, key features. In particular, the adoption of permanent magnet technology in the electric motor, and direct cooling to the surrounding water, has made for a simplified construction, compact dimensions and improved hydrodynamics. A low voltage frequency converter controls the permanent magnet synchronous motor, driving a fixed pitch propeller, which can be specified in either 'pulling' or 'pushing' configuration.

Circle 98 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 31,  Sep 2000

Read Pods for a rising market in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of September 2000 Maritime Reporter

Other stories from September 2000 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.