Propulsion pod pioneers ABB have won an order worth around US$25-million to supply its marine propulsion system, Azipod, and complete electric power plants for two new rescue and salvage icebreakers that are under construction at Nordic Yards GmbH in Germany.
Azipod Propelled Russian Icebreaker: Image courtesy of ABB
The original idea for the Azipod (Azimuthing Podded Drive) system was conceived a couple of decades ago in response to the Finnish Maritime Administration’s quest for ways to improve its icebreaker operations. Icebreakers must be capable of manoeuvring in such a way that they can break out of an ice channel in any direction in order to assist merchant ships using that channel. Investigations showed that a propulsion motor which could direct the thrust in any direction would be the ideal solution to this problem. The Azipod drive system that was subsequently developed provided the answer with its podded electric propulsion unit, freely steerable through 360 degr... [More]
Design of an icebreaker Offshore Service Vessel (OSV) of 80-m in length might seems a fair step up from a 30-m harbour tugboat, but all in a day’s work for Robert Allan’s Vancouver-based versatile naval architects, who have just been awarded a contract for two new designs for such vessels to be built in Turkey for operation in the shallow, seasonally ice-bound waters of the Caspian Sea.
TundRA 8000 OSV Preliminary Design: Image courtesy of Robert Allan
Robert Allan Ltd. is an independent, privately owned firm of Consulting Naval Architects founded in 1930 when Robert Allan commenced private practice as a Consulting Naval Architect. Year on year, just like Topsy the business grew and grew until in 2008 the company was restructured to a culture of employee ownership with eleven of Robert Allan Ltd.'s core group of senior employees becoming shareholders in the firm. But a present generation Allan – Robert G. – grandson of the founder, remains Executive Chairman and... [More]
Polar Star: USCG photograph
USCG icebreaker Polar Star, one of the world’s most powerful non-nuclear fuelled, will continue in service with well-proven Thordon (of Canada) seawater lubricated propellor shafts by the time she returns to service in December 2012 after a USD 62-million refit and upgrade program in the Todd Pacific Shipyard in Seattle. Why a seawater lubrication system when most ships rely on a conventional oil lubrication system to protect stern-tube bearings?Icebreaking Stresses the Propellor ShaftForging a passage through polar pack-ice of necessity causes the propellor to impact with chunks of ice that cause bending moments in the propellor shaft, which in turn stress the stern tube bearings and shaft seals; when the outboard stern tube seal fails, lubricating oil leaks out to pollute pristine polar waters. (So-called ‘biodegradable lube-oil’ fails to deliver its promise in such sun-starved high-latttitudes and toxic substances in the lubrica... [More]