ABB has introduced ABB Dynafin, a new concept representing a revolutionary propulsion system. Inspired by the dynamic motions of a whale’s tail, the innovative concept is the result of over a decade of research, development, and testing. The company estimates the first prototype to be available in 2025.

‘ABB Dynafin shows what is possible when marine engineers pursue radical innovation and progress, inspired by the interplay of evolution and technology,’ says Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. ‘This solution is all about operational efficiency and emissions avoidance, leveraging innovations from the brightest minds in marine and propulsion engineering.’

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Wheel and blades

The new propulsion concept features a main electric motor that powers a large wheel rotating at a moderate thirty to eighty rounds per minute. Vertical blades, each controlled by an individual motor and control system, extend from the wheel.

The combined motion of the wheel and blades generates propulsion and steering forces simultaneously, enabling ground-breaking operational efficiency and precision for ships. The concept follows ABB’s design philosophy in marine propulsion of gearless power transmission.

Savings of up to 22 per cent

An independent study of ABB Dynafin from OSK-ShipTech A/S of a passenger vessel design equipped with different propulsion solutions has verified savings in propulsion energy consumption of up to 22 per cent compared to conventional shaftline configuration. This can deliver significant savings in fuel consumption and help to avoid emissions. As part of an electric propulsion power system, the concept is also fully compatible with zero-emission battery and fuel cell technologies.

Initially available in the power range of 1–4 MW per unit, the new propulsion concept is particularly effective for medium-sized and smaller vessels, including ferries for passengers and vehicles, offshore support vessels operating at wind farms, and yachts.

By reducing vibrations and noise levels, the system improves passenger and crew comfort. In addition, the propulsion concept delivers superior manoeuvrability, and positioning performance, i.e., the capacity of the vessel to maintain the desired position and heading.

Picture: ABB DynafinTM propulsion (by ABB).

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