Each year, worldwide, more than eight billion tons of freight are shipped by sea between 160 countries, not including inland transport! Understandably the future of propulsion is high on the agenda of the shipping industry, as this is one of its most costly expenditures. A stroll around the exhibition floor at Europort shows us that there are as many ideas as there are shipbuilders, but they all seem to agree on one point: electrical propulsion is the future!
There are many different opinions as to how to generate the electrical power necessary in this industry. The common trend, however, is multi-purpose propulsion with pods that can swivel. While the pro and cons of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) are presently being discussed, as well as hydrogen gas and diesel alternatives and the options of fully electrical systems with batteries or a hybrid, there is a growing demand for permanent magnet motors for directly driven propellers. An outstanding innovation at this moment, that answers this need in the shipping industry, is the V-POD in which the motor and cogwheels are integrated in the pod housing. We will keep you informed in regards to this new invention!