ABB and MAN to collaborate on dual-fuel electric propulsion systems

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Having signed a memorandum of understanding, ABB and MAN Energy Solutions will collaborate to produce a dual-fuel electric plant concept aimed at liquified natural gas (LNG) carrier applications.

The concept will be based on MAN’s new 49/60DF four-stroke engine and ABB’s Dynamic AC (DAC) system, and will offer operational flexibility, reduced carbon footprints and lower fuel bills for operators. By creating the propulsion solution, ABB and MAN aim to address rising fuel costs and tightening international greenhouse gas regulations. Alongside the joint concept study, the pair will share technical data and discuss different interfaces and integration of the system on board vessels.

The 49/60DF four-stroke engine from MAN can run on LNG, diesel, biofuel blends and synthetic natural gas. ABB’s DAC concept and its electrical system combine the advantages of AC with the variable frequency. This can adjust generator load to engine speeds, resulting in continuous and optimal fuel consumption.

The pair claim the new propulsion concept will be suitable for application to LNG carriers, floating storage units and floating storage and regasification units. To enhance load management, a system could consist of a combined dual-fuel electric power and propulsion solution. The companies aim to explore the integration of fuel cells as the technology improves.

“Customers demand efficient and flexible propulsion systems to react quickly to changing market conditions and achieve the best utilization for their assets,” said Elvis Ettenhofer, head of marine four-stroke, region Asia-Pacific at MAN Energy Solutions. “This agreement represents an agile response from MAN and ABB, using our technologies to deliver a next-generation, dual-fuel, electric+ propulsion concept. This technology will help customers to reduce their CO2  footprint and fuel costs, and provide flexibility in operation. ABB’s DAC system and global presence are an ideal match for our new four-stroke engine.”

“Progressive regulations on emissions have called for continuous innovation in marine propulsion,” added Rune Lysebo, head global sales at ABB Marine & Ports. “To be truly futureproof, ships that are being built today need to be able to rely on flexibility in energy sourcing. The new power and propulsion system will be optimized for efficiency and compliance, and have the flexibility needed to achieve best performance.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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