Celebrating 30 years of Azipod electric propulsion

Jul 13, 2021 | Featured Article, SeaFirst

As Azipod propulsion enters its fourth decade of production, the technology still continues to revolutionise the maritime industry. Here, we take a look at how the maintenance has changed over time.

ABB’s Azipod propulsion system has brought huge advances to the maritime industry, thanks to its efficiency gains, sustainability benefits and the increased manoeuvrability it offers any ship to which it’s fitted.
Azipod propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is housed within a pod outside the ship’s hull. Originally developed for icebreaking vessels, the system can be adapted to suit almost any kind of ship. Today, over 25 different vessel types rely on Azipod technology – from cruise ships to cargo carriers, icebreakers, ferries and superyachts.
Jukka Varis – responsible for this technology globally, who has worked with the system from the very beginning explains: “The Azipod system looks similar to an outboard motor but is much bigger – the large unit weighs as much as a fully loaded Jumbo Jet. It can turn 360 degrees around its axis, creating thrust in any direction and resulting in much better manoeuvrability of the vessel.”
Electrical power minimises engine noise and vibration, ensuring a smoother, quieter ride.

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