(ZURICH, Switzerland) — ABB has introduced ABB Dynafin, a new concept representing a revolutionary propulsion system for efficiency in the marine industry. 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.
ABB’s combined extensive experience and expertise in the marine industry, along with its innovative heritage, are the driving forces behind this new concept. ABB 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,” said 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. I want to thank the whole team for their persistence, resilience, innovativeness and years of hard work.”
The new propulsion concept features a main electric motor that powers a large wheel rotating at a moderate 30 to 80 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 operational efficiency and precision for ships.
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 percent 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 to 4 megawatts (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 maneuverability, and positioning performance, i.e., the capacity of the vessel to maintain the desired position and heading.