ABB marks 30-year anniversary of Azipod electric propulsion

ABB marks 30-year anniversary of Azipod electric propulsion


ABB estimates that 1,000,000 tons of fuel has been saved by the use of the Azipod system in the cruise industry

ABB has marked the 30-year anniversary of its Azipod electric propulsion system, which was first installed on Finnish vessel Seili in 1991.

Since its introduction, the Azipod system had logged over 20 million running hours, with ABB estimating that around one million tons of fuel have been saved by its use in the cruise industry. Over 25 different vessel types have used the technology, including cruise ships and ferries, with more than 700 units sold over the past 30 years.

“ABB has played a pioneering role in electric transportation for more than a century,” said Björn Rosengren, CEO of ABB. “The launch of the Azipod technology in 1991 marked a new era in ship propulsion and has firmly established ABB’s contribution to reducing the environmental impact of the maritime industry. I am convinced that this state-of-the-art technology will continue to play a major part in supporting our role as a front runner in sustainable transportation.”

The system houses an electric drive motor within a pod outside a ship’s hull, allowing it to rotate 360 degrees for increased maneuverability. The solution increases the ship’s hydrodynamic performance, reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent compared to a traditional setup.

The units range from one to 22 megawatts and were designed to be powered by electricity from a variety of energy sources, including batteries and fuel cells. ABB’s Propulsion Control System ensures communication with onboard systems, while the Power and Energy Management System controls the overall power distribution.

“Azipod technology will help any vessel type cut cost and carbon footprint, both because it is a superior propulsion solution and because it further improves the greater efficiency inherent in electric propulsion,” said Juha Koskela, division president for ABB Marine & Ports. “With the International Maritime Organization’s goal to halve greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 2050, I am confident that Azipod propulsion will be driving sustainable shipping in 30 years’ time, and beyond.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
08 April 2021

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