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Monday, July 5, 2021 

ABB's Azipod electric propulsion now benefits from an automated steering function that is said to help further minimise fuel consumption and emissions, through the use o9f a digital solution, known as ABB Ability OptimE – Toe Angle Optimisation for Propulsion - which automatically selects 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. The digital system requires no additional skills from the crew, through enhancing the proven Azipod system efficiencies, considered to have saved more than 1,000,000t 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,” said Antto Shemeikka, VP 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 in a number of ABB ‘Bridge to Propeller’ integrated solutions for ships, which include bridge control, sensors, digital reporting, automation, and propulsion technology. Azipod propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, which can rotate through 360 degrees to increase manoeuvrability and operating efficiency. Due to minimal noise and vibration, Azipod propulsion improves passenger and crew comfort.

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