ABB further enhances efficiency of Azipod® electric propulsion with digital solution

Source: press release, 5 July 2021

With OptimE, further fuel savings of up to 1.5% are achievable for vessels powered by Azipod® propulsion
With OptimE, further fuel savings of up to 1.5% are achievable for vessels powered by Azipod® propulsion (illustration: ABB)

Already delivering decisive efficiency gains to an ever-increasing variety of ship types, ABB Azipod® electric propulsion now benefits from an automated steering function that helps further minimise fuel consumption and emissions.

The new digital solution, ABB Ability™ OptimE – Toe Angle Optimisation for Propulsion, supports crew in achieving maximum propulsion efficiency by automatically selecting the optimal steering angle for the ship’s Azipod® system. With ABB Ability™ OptimE, further fuel savings of up to 1.5% are achievable depending on a ship’s operating profile, in addition to Azipod® propulsion’s ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% when compared with a traditional shaftline setup.

Without requiring any additional skills from the crew, the digital solution adds a new dimension to proven Azipod® systems efficiencies, which have already saved more than 1,000,000 tons of fuel in the cruise sector alone. ABB Ability™ OptimE automatically adjusts the steering angle to achieve continuous optimal flow through the propulsors, taking prevailing operational needs and working conditions into account.

“Maximising the energy efficiency of assets is a top priority for ABB and we are delighted to demonstrate yet further fuel savings and emission reductions in our Azipod® propulsion systems,” says Antto Shemeikka, Vice President Digital Services, ABB Marine & Ports. “We view the ship as a system where hardware and software operate seamlessly together to deliver maximum efficiency. We believe that every shipowner using Azipod® technology will want to capitalise on the further efficiency gains enabled by ABB Ability™ OptimE.”

Suitable both for newbuilds and retrofitting, ABB Ability™ OptimE is the latest example of the growing number of ABB Marine & Ports “Bridge to Propeller” integrated solutions for ships, which include bridge control, sensors, digital reporting, automation, and propulsion technology.

ABB Azipod® propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull. Azipod® units can rotate through 360 degrees to increase manoeuvrability and operating efficiency. Due to minimal noise and vibration, Azipod® propulsion also improves passenger and crew comfort.