Virgin Voyages' three ships will debut one per year between 2020 and 2022 (Image courtesy of Virgin Voyages)
ABB is to provide complete electric power and propulsion packages for all three of Virgin Voyages new cruise ships, which will be delivered between 2020 and 2022.
To be constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, all three of the 110,000gt ships will be equipped with ABB’s Azipod gearless propulsion systems that have an electric drive motor located in a submerged pod outside the hull. The propulsion systems will minimise noise and vibrations to enhance passenger and crew comfort, while cutting fuel consumption by 15% compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems. Meanwhile, the units’ can turn in all directions, which will enable the ships to berth in ports that do not have tugs. In addition, because the pods are outside of the vessel, this will leave more space for onboard cabins.
Each of the 2,700-guest vessels will also have two Azipod XO units, with a combined propulsion power of 32 megawatts, which will improve manoeuvrability and reduce noise. The ship’s crew will be able to control these units remotely from the bridge via ABB’s complete electric power plant solution, which also comprises electricity generators, main switchboards and distribution transformers.
“Azipod electric propulsion stands for innovation and efficiency like no other propulsion system and is fundamental to our vision of electric, digital and connected shipping,” said Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s Industrial Automation division. “Based on 25 years of experience and development, our Azipod propulsion technology continues to lead ships into the future of e-mobility, underpinning our commitment to a technology with superior performance, reliability, safety and environmental profile.”
Virgin will also be able to connect the ships to the ABB AbilityTM Collaborative Operations Centers infrastructure, which uses remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance and provide technical support.
“Making Virgin Voyages environmentally sustainable is central to our vision and we are delighted ABB’s Azipod propulsion will help us achieve that goal,” said Stuart Hawkins, senior vice president of Marine and Technical Operations for Virgin Voyages. “Combined with excellent manoeuvrability, it was a natural choice for our ships.”
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