ABB Propulsion Takes Ship to North Pole

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 5, 2019

Norwegian Coast Guard vessel KV Svalbard and its crew at the North Pole: the ship is the first ABB Azipod powered craft to reach the Pole. (Photo: ABB)

Norwegian Coast Guard vessel KV Svalbard and its crew at the North Pole: the ship is the first ABB Azipod powered craft to reach the Pole. (Photo: ABB)

Norwegian Coast Guard ship KV Svalbard is the first vessel powered by an ABB Azipod propulsion system to reach the North Pole.

The ship is equipped with twin 5MW Azipod icebreaking units which enabled it to sail through polar ice at speeds of up to 6 to 7 knots when it took part in an international scientific expedition, the Coordinated Arctic Acoustic Thermometry Experiment led by Norwegian research foundation The Nansen Center.

The Azipod electric propulsion system is designed to make s ships highly maneuverable, being based on an electric drive motor located under the ship’s hull in a submerged pod that can be fully rotated to deliver thrust in any direction. This propulsion system can break up ice as thick as 2.1 meters and also enables fuel consumption to be reduced by up to 20 percent compared to that of traditional shaftline marine propulsion systems.

The Azipod system was first introduced in 1990 and has since been installed on more than 90 icebreaking vessels. Power ratings range from 1 MW to 22 MW, making the propulsion technology suitable for a wide range of vessels including cargo vessels, cruise ships, ferries, mega-yachts, offshore supply fleets, research vessels, wind turbine installation boats and drilling rigs.

In addition, the latest versions of Azipod have been designed so that a ship consumes less fuel driving the generators that provide electric power to the Azipod, thereby reducing CO2 emissions, helping the global ferry industry meet the IMO’s target of reducing annual emissions by 30 percent by 2025.

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