ABB has an innovative concept for a revolutionary propulsion system that sets new standards for efficiency in shipping. ABB Dynafin™ is the result of more than ten years of research, development and testing and is based on the dynamic movements of a whale’s tail. Driving forces behind the new concept are ABB’s extensive experience and expertise in the marine industry and the company’s tradition of innovation. ABB expects the first prototype to be available in 2025.
The new propulsion concept includes an electric main motor that drives a large wheel rotating at a moderate 30-80 rpm. Vertical blades extend from the wheel, each governed by its own motor and control system. The combined motion of the wheel and paddles generates propulsive and steering forces simultaneously, enabling pioneering efficiency and precision in marine operations. The concept follows ABB’s proven design philosophy of gearless power transmission in marine propulsion systems.
An independent study by OSK-ShipTech A/S on ABB Dynafin on a passenger ship equipped with various propulsion solutions has demonstrated energy savings of up to 22 percent compared to a design with conventional shaft drive. This enables a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. As part of an electric drive system, the concept also features full compatibility with zero-emission battery and fuel cell technology.
The new propulsion concept will initially be available in the power range of 1-4 megawatts per unit and will be particularly suitable for medium-sized and smaller vessels, including passenger and vehicle ferries, offshore supply vessels for use at wind farms, and yachts. The system reduces vibrations and noise generation, thus enhancing comfort for passengers and crew. In addition, the propulsion concept ensures excellent maneuverability and positioning performance – the vessel’s ability to maintain the desired position and course.
ABB Dynafin is the latest addition to ABB’s portfolio of electric, automated and digital technologies. Since the introduction of the Azipod® propulsion system more than 30 years ago, the company has been pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible with its market-leading expertise in electric and hybrid propulsion systems, delivering significant improvements in efficiency, performance and sustainability. The new concept will complement the existing drive portfolio. www.abb.com