GEAR | New electric propulsion installation to deliver enhanced positioning and manoeuvrability
ABB has introduced a new type of electric propulsion motor with prominent vertical blades.
The new propulsion concept features a main electric motor that powers a large wheel rotating at a moderate 30 to 80 rounds per minute. The blades extend from the wheel and are each controlled by an individual motor and control system.
ABB claims the combined motion of the wheel and blades generates propulsion and steering forces simultaneously, enabling improved operational efficiency and precision for ships. The concept follows the company’s design philosophy in marine propulsion of gearless power transmission.
Initially available in the power range of one to four MW per unit, the new propulsion concept is ideal for medium-sized and smaller vessels, including ferries for passengers and vehicles, offshore support vessels operating at wind farms, and yachts. By reducing vibrations and noise levels, the system improves passenger and crew comfort. In addition, the propulsion concept delivers enhanced manoeuvrability and positioning performance, i.e., the ability of the vessel to maintain desired position and heading.
ABB expects the first prototype to become available in 2025.