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Commonly used on large marine vessels, a shaft generator system can support the main engine of a ship by generating electricity for the onboard grid and by acting as a motor, it can boost the power on the main propulsion shaft. A shaft generator alone can provide the power needed to turn the propeller for maneuvering a ship in a harbour or as back-up in case of main propulsion engine malfunction. The electrical system that controls and operates the shaft generator is also able to connect energy storage, shore to ship power and other new energy sources to the power and propulsion system of a ship.
Generating up to 4MW of power, the latest shaft generator from ABB utilizes permanent magnet technology, which enables better efficiency, performance and reliability than either induction or electrically excited synchronous machines at both full and partial loading. This helps to cut fuel costs by up to 4 percent, offering a payback period of two to four years. It also significantly reduces CO2 emissions of a ship by several tons for each day at sea. The new generator can be installed in a wide range of vessels including bulk carriers, container carriers, liquid natural gas tankers and ferries.
With permanent magnet technology the footprint of the equipment package is reduced by around 20 percent compared to a conventional synchronous or induction type shaft generator and the weight is reduced by around 30 percent. In addition to newbuild vessels, ABB’s permanent magnet shaft generators can be retrofitted on existing ships to improve energy efficiency and cut emissions.
Demand for shaft generators is increasing across a wide range of vessel types. Under its first order, ABB will supply permanent magnet shaft generators for a fleet of twelve 210,000 tons dual-fuel bulk carriers.