On June 3rd, at the Nor-shipping conference in Oslo, Rolls-Royce unveiled an azimuth thruster with integrated permanent-magnet (PM) technology.
The company’s portfolio regarding PM technology features a newly developed winch and several tunnel thrusters.
In order to properly evaluate the energy-saving potential of the new thruster, sea trials were carried out aboard the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU’s) Trondheim-based Gunnerus research vessel.
During the trial tests the two thrusters that the vessel is equipped with displayed an efficiency saving level in the amount of 7-13% in correlation with the speed of the ship, thus managing to outperform standard azimuth thrusters that are powered via the use of a conventional diesel-electric system.
“Having completed a program of successful sea tests, which surpassed our initial expectations regarding efficiency levels, we are now presented with the superb opportunity of expanding our current permanent-magnet technology range with the addition of a new azimuth thruster. There are additional sea trials that are still ongoing but the initial results have displayed great implications regarding future ship sustainability in the marine as well as in the offshore sectors given how PM thrusters are becoming a viable addition to the traditional thruster systems,” commented Helge Gjerde, Senior Vice-President of the Propulsion-Commercial Marine department at Rolls-Royce.
Some of the other perks that come along with the use of this technology are more power through a propeller of the same diameter, reduced levels of vibration and noise, an opportunity to remove as well as perform maintenance procedures on PM thrusters with no need of dry-docking.
Source & Images: Rolls-Royce