Rolls-Royce has launched a new azimuth thruster using permanent magnet (PM) technology, a new addition to its marine thrusters range.
The PM azimuth thruster features three main assemblies, including the PM motor / propeller / nozzle underwater unit, hull mounting system and inboard power unit.
The PM motor comprises two main parts, a stator with various electrical coil windings and a rotor equipped with strong permanent magnets.
Rolls-Royce has recently completed sea trials using a pair of thrusters that showed efficiency of up to 13%, compared to diesel-electric systems.
The trials were carried out onboard the RV Gunnerus, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) research ship.
Rolls-Royce propulsion commercial marine senior vice-president Helge Gjerde said: "Following a programme of successful sea trials, which exceed our expectations in terms of efficiency, we are delighted to broaden our range of permanent magnet technology with the launch of a new azimuth thruster.
"The sea trials are continuing but initial findings have significant implications for future ship sustainability in both the marine and offshore sectors, as PM thrusters become a valuable supplement to traditional thruster technology."
The thruster offers more power through a propeller of the same diameter, less noise and vibration, and eliminates the need for a dry-docking for maintenance, the company said.
Rolls-Royce’s first commercial permanent magnet tunnel thruster is currently in operation on-board the multifunctional anchor-handling vessel (AHTS), Olympic Octopus. The vessel is owned by Norwegian offshore vessel operator Olympic Shipping.
Image: The new azimuth thruster allows to remove and maintain PM thrusters without the need for a dry-docking. Photo: courtesy of Rolls-Royce plc.