Caterpillar developing Advanced Variable Drive (AVD) propulsion system

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(HAMBURG, Germany) — Caterpillar Marine, partnering with Caterpillar Innovation & Technology Development Division (ITDD), is in the process of developing a proprietary advanced propulsion system for marine applications. The Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive (AVD) is a patented system that leverages Caterpillar’s extensive experience with heavy duty continuously variable transmission (CVT) technology, advanced controls and power system integration knowledge.

In this joint development, ITDD is leading a cross-functional innovation team to develop and validate a fully integrated marine propulsion system from bridge interface down to the propellers.

“Thanks to the flexibility enabled by the innovative Caterpillar AVD technology, the speed of the vessel’s engines can be modulated and optimized independently from the speed of the fixed pitch propellers. The speed of the propellers can be varied continuously throughout their full speed range. In addition, the power of the main and auxiliary engines can be channeled independently or jointly to propel the vessel,” said Igor Strashny, Caterpillar ITDD engineering manager with responsibility for advanced marine propulsion. “These features provide superior vessel performance and maneuverability while facilitating significant improvements in fuel and operational efficiency. Caterpillar AVD technology is a cost-effective and fully integrated hybrid propulsion solution that reduces maintenance costs and has conventional service requirements. The system is scalable to meet requirements of a wide range of vessel types, applications, power levels and enables effective downsizing of engines without the loss of performance."

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By Professional Mariner Staff