ABB introduces groundbreaking marine propulsion system: ABB Dynafin™

Snic 2023 Alf Kåre Ådnanes

A warm thanks to gold sponsor ABB, and Alf Kåre Aadnanes, who takes the stage at SNIC 2023 – Innovate to Zero today.

ABB, a global leader in technology, has unveiled an innovative marine propulsion system named ABB Dynafin™. This cutting-edge solution employs a main electric motor driving a large wheel that rotates at a controlled speed of 30-80 rounds per minute. Vertical blades, individually controlled by motors and a precise control system, extend from the wheel. The combined motion generates both propulsion and steering forces simultaneously, revolutionizing operational efficiency and precision for ships. This concept follows ABB’s established design philosophy in marine propulsion, featuring gearless power transmission.

Primarily addressing passenger and crew comfort

One of the key benefits of ABB Dynafin™ is its ability to reduce vibrations and noise levels, significantly improving passenger and crew comfort. Additionally, this propulsion system delivers superior maneuverability and positioning performance. The vessel’s capacity to maintain its desired position and heading is greatly enhanced. Individual blade control allows for optimized blade paths, providing flexibility to maximize propulsion efficiency in various operational scenarios. Moreover, this flexibility minimizes underwater noise, further enhancing onboard comfort. The concept draws inspiration from the powerful movements of a whale’s tail in water.

A decade of research and development

The innovative ABB Dynafin™ concept was inspired by the dynamic motions of a whale’s tail and is the culmination of over a decade of extensive research, development, and testing. ABB’s profound experience and expertise in the marine industry, coupled with its innovative heritage, drove the creation of this groundbreaking technology. Initially, ABB Dynafin™ will be offered in the power range of 1-4 MW per unit, targeting medium-sized and smaller vessels. This includes ferries for passengers and vehicles, offshore support vessels, and yachts. The configuration boasts a low onboard systems height, allowing for optimized ship layout.

Significant cost and carbon footprint reductions

Extensive studies, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and model tests, have demonstrated open water efficiencies of up to 85%. An independent study conducted by OSK-ShipTech A/S showed that a passenger vessel equipped with ABB Dynafin™ achieved propulsion energy consumption savings of up to 22% compared to a conventional shaft line configuration. This translates to substantial reductions in fuel consumption, emissions, and the potential to downsize the power plant for the same mission profile. As part of an electric propulsion system, ABB Dynafin™ is fully compatible with zero-emission battery and fuel cell technologies.

Target audience and commercial viability

ABB Dynafin™ is particularly effective for medium-sized and smaller vessels, including ferries, offshore support vessels operating at wind farms, and yachts. ABB is actively working towards making this innovative technology commercially viable by leveraging its extensive industry experience, strategic partnerships, and continuous research and development efforts. This includes collaborations with shipbuilders, operators, and regulatory bodies to ensure seamless integration and compliance with industry standards.

You can read more here , about how ABB’s Dynafin™ presents a paradigm shift in marine propulsion technology, offering significant benefits in terms of efficiency, comfort, and environmental sustainability. This innovation holds great promise for the maritime industry, paving the way for a more efficient and eco-friendly future.