Propelling More Value Toward Customers

Caterpillar's new twin fin propulsion system delivers better performance and fuel efficiency
May 25, 2015 2:30 PM ET

For an inventor, perhaps the biggest thrill is for your design to perform even better than you imagined. Mattias Hansson is a naval architect and one of three inventors, including Bjørnar Helgesen, SMG, and Bjørn Moving, OMT, who together in close cooperation, designed and developed Caterpillar Marine’s new twin fin propulsion concept, which brought home the 2014 Technical Innovation Award from the Seatrade Maritime Awards in Dubai. The first twin fin installation was a retrofit on a seismic survey vessel earlier in 2014, replacing existing azimuth thrusters. The ship reported no reliability problems, a 30 percent gain in fuel efficiency and performance improvement of 84 percent in bollard pull thrust during seismic conditions. These benefits are expected to boost the customer’s revenue by approximately $3.3 million per year. 

Read more in the 2014 Sustainability Report.

Through prefabrication, it took just 45 days for Caterpillar to retrofit its new twin fin propulsion system to the Polarcus Naila, a seismic vessel. The innovative twin fin system, made for diesel electric propulsion systems, provides both the increased cargo capacity usually associated with thrusters and the reliability and safety associated with conventional propellers. Add to that higher thrust performance, and reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and you have a sustainable solution that was delivered with limited downtime.

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