Automation company ABB has added a new digital solution to enhance the energy efficiency of its Azipod electric propulsor.

The new ‘ABB Ability OptimE – Toe Angle Optimisation for Propulsion’ automatically adjusts the optimal steering angle for the ship’s Azipod system and helps the crew achieve maximum propulsion efficiency.

It also helps to achieve continuous optimal flow through the propulsors by taking main operational needs and working conditions into account.

The solution is suitable for both new builds and retrofitting ships, as well as adds a new dimension to Azipod systems efficiencies.

In addition to Azipod propulsion’s ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20%, further fuel savings of up to 1.5% are expected to be achieved when using ABB Ability OptimE, depending on a ship’s operating profile.

ABB marine and ports digital services vice-president Antto Shemeikka said: “Maximising the energy efficiency of assets is a top priority for ABB and we are delighted to demonstrate yet further fuel savings and emission reductions in our Azipod propulsion systems.

“We view the ship as a system where hardware and software operate seamlessly together to deliver maximum efficiency.

“We believe that every shipowner using Azipod technology will want to capitalise on the further efficiency gains enabled by ABB Ability OptimE.”

The company noted that the new digital tool is the latest example of ABB marine and ports ‘Bridge to Propeller’ integrated solutions for ships, which include sensors, digital reporting, automation, bridge control and propulsion technologies.

The gearless steerable propulsion system ABB Azipod also improves passenger and crew comfort.

In May, Estonian ferry operator Tallink selected the ABB Ability Marine Advisory System, OCTOPUS, to enable sustainability and efficiency gains for its new ferry MyStar, which is slated for delivery next year from the Finnish Rauma Marine Constructions shipyard.