- Le Commandant Charcot makes history with ABB’s Azipod® propulsion as the first exploration cruise vessel to reach the North Pole
- The vessel is built with respect to environment and features the largest energy storage system ever installed on a cruise ship for maximum sustainability
The Ponant Commandant Charcot polar explorer passed through the North Pole marking several milestones of French navigation and new technologies, something of which ABB, they point out from the company, are proud.
The passenger ship used ABB’s Azipod propulsion , key to becoming the first exploration cruise to reach the North Pole. It is built with respect for the environment and has the largest energy storage system ever installed in a building of this type for maximum sustainability.
The luxury hybrid-electric cruiser produces minimal noise and vibration to provide a comfortable guest experience. In addition, the energy storage system, supplied and integrated by ABB, adds up to almost five megawatt hours, allowing the engines to be switched off for quiet, emission-free sailing.
“ABB designed both the Azipod drive units and the energy storage system to meet the precise operational requirements of Le Commandant Charcot,” said Mathieu Petiteau, Ponant Director of Construction and Research and Development. “In addition to ensuring a high level of comfort for passengers, the vessel is capable of navigating in zero-emission mode while exploring remote locations. Thanks to the maneuverability of the Azipod system, the boat will also be able to navigate smoothly and safely through icy waters ”, he added.
“Azipod propulsion has become the preferred solution for exploration cruises operating in highly sensitive and demanding marine environments. We are proud to have been chosen by Ponant and we look forward to seeing Le Commandant Charcot in action for the next few years, ”commented Dick Björkqvist, Global Cruise Segment Manager at ABB Marine & Ports.
With the electric drive motor located in a submerged capsule outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod system can rotate 360 degrees, significantly increasing a ship’s maneuverability and operational efficiency and reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. compared to conventional shaft line systems.
Since its launch 30 years ago, Azipod propulsion has saved nearly 1 million tons of fuel in the passenger cruise segment alone.
“With another high-specification passenger ship delivered to her owner with integrated power and propulsion technology from ABB, we are rapidly expanding our portfolio in this segment,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.