ABB is at the forefront and has long experience with electrical propulsion for vessels. The propulsion systems meet stringent safety, reliability, and cost efficiency requirements, as demanded by leading ship owners and gas charters. Increased worldwide utilization and transportation of LNG has initiated several studies to explore alternatives to conventional steam turbine propulsion. For LNG carriers, electrical propulsion provides the highest overall efficiency and benefits for ship builders and for operators of the ship.
The supply of medium voltage power systems to LNG carriers has been a strong growth area for ABB. According to Martinus Brandal, head of ABB's global Marine business, "In the last three years, we have received orders for medium-voltage systems for 23 LNG carriers with conventional steam turbine propulsion. ABB considers the LNG business to have considerable growth potential over the next decade, and we are convinced that a large portion of this market will be built with electrical propulsion."
To the new Gaz de France LNG carrier, ABB will supply a complete propulsion drive system in a redundant electrical configuration. The delivery will include medium speed propulsion motors of a total of 28 MW, medium-voltage frequency converters (ABB ACS 6000), and a propulsion control system.
The frequency converters use the Direct Torque Control (DTC) technology, a genuine motor control method developed by ABB. The converter technology gives improved performance and controllability of the propulsion system compared to alternative methods, and a simpler electrical power system without harmonic filters.
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