Rolls-Royce announces delivery of first permanent magnet tunnel thruster

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has delivered the first of its newly-developed permanent magnet tunnel thruster (TT-PM) to Norwegian company Olympic Shipping, who will operate the thruster on their vesselOlympic Octopus.

Tunnel thrusters are positioned fore and aft on a wide range of ships and provide sideways thrust for maneuvering and holding position in rough seas. The TT-PM offers numerous advantages over traditional tunnel thrusters, including a 25% increase in power output of from the same size propeller, significant reduction in noise and vibration, and can be removed underwater, eliminating the need for dry docking.

Anders Almestad, President - Offshore, Rolls-Royce said:“We are delighted that Olympic Shipping is the first customer to select our new tunnel thruster. This cutting edge technology is suitable for a range of applications in offshore and merchant vessels, where operators will benefit from its high power output and rapid response to power demand, combined with exceptionally low noise levels .”

“The new thruster is quiet, efficient and extremely durable. It is capable of running for thousands of hours in intensive operations such as the harsh conditions of the offshore oil and gas fields, where rapidly varying loads and alternating thrust directions are the norm.”

The new thruster design concept comprises a permanent magnet motor in a rim, which drives the propeller in the centre. The permanent magnet motor consists of a stator that carries a number of electrical coil windings, and a rotor fitted with a number of very strong permanent magnets. By having the motor in the rim, this frees up space directly above the thruster where thruster motors are normally located, making the thruster room available for other equipment or alternative use.

A rotating magnetic field is created by the stator which interacts with the fields of the permanent magnets on the rotor, which generates force to drive the rotor around, providing the mechanical power.

Rolls-Royce has put the thruster through an extensive test programme, operating it continuously for many months, demonstrating its reliability, enhanced maintainability, performance and operational efficiency.

The vessel Olympic Octopus was delivered in 2007 and is a Rolls-Royce design UT 712 L multifunctional anchor-handling vessel (AHTS). The TT-PM is currently being fitted into the hull.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
  3. Annual underlying revenue was £11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £60.1 billion at 30 June 2012, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested £908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
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