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Rolls-Royce expands permanent magnet range

Rolls-Royce expands permanent magnet range
Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new addition to its burgeoning range of permanent magnet thrusters.

“We are delighted to broaden our range of permanent magnet technology with the launch of new azimuth thruster,” said Helge Gjerde, Rolls-Royce svp for Propulsion.

The technology, able to do away with gearboxes, shafts and other components, can save 50% on the footprint of a traditional thruster system, with sea trials aboard RV Gunnerus demonstrating efficiency savings between 7 - 13% compared with a conventional azimuth system.

Due to the lack of gearbox, the propulsors can exercise equal thrust in both directions, switching between 100% thrust in one to 100% in another in under six seconds.

Although more expensive than a traditional thruster, the Permanent Magnet thruster’s one moving part – the propeller – is expected to massively improve maintenance costs and lifespan, as well as being considerably quieter than a conventional design. An installation on Anchor Handler Olympic Octopus has so far seen 4,000 hours without an incident.

Gjerde continued: “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.”