GE's Marine Solutions has provided its power take-off / power take-in (PTO / PTI) solution for installation on four container vessels owned by Maersk Line.

GE has also delivered its digital software solution Power Management System for the Maersk vessels, which include Madrid Maersk, Munich Maersk, Moscow Maersk and Milan Maersk.

The Power Management System is expected to allow the vessels to operate on a fully automatic basis.

GE's PTO / PTI solution includes two of the company's motor-generator sets, which sit atop the two propeller shafts and connect to the GE MV7000 drives.

The motor-generator sets function as an electric propulsion system when operating in PTI mode, providing additional motor power to propel the vessel.

They are also able switch to PTO mode to harness mechanical energy from the shaft in scenarios when the ship requires less propulsion power, which facilitates the conversion the otherwise wasted energy into electricity to produce power for electrical equipment on-board the vessel.

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"During the sea trial of Madrid Maersk, when the modes switched all equipment kept running without the slightest interruption, without even a flicker of a lightbulb."

GE Marine Solutions project director Bruno Daubas said: “Typically, one diesel engine can consume as much as eight tons of fuel per hour. Saving even just 1% of fuel will generate significant savings for the customer.

“The two modes are completely reversed processes, and therefore require robust drives and software to ensure a smooth switch between two modes and to react in a highly responsive manner.

“During the sea trial of Madrid Maersk, when the modes switched all equipment kept running without the slightest interruption, without even a flicker of a lightbulb.”

Maersk Line previously took delivery of the Madrid Maersk vessel from South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in April.

Munich Maersk and Moscow Maersk have also completed sea trials, while Milan Maersk is expected to begin operation soon.

The four vessels feature a capacity of 20,568 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) each and form part of Maersk's 11-vessel, second-generation ultra-large container fleet known as EEE Mark II.