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August 26, 2019   |   Electrive


Hybrid Diesel-Electric Icebreaker Reaches North Pole

A Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker equipped with ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion system has reached the North Pole as part of an international environmental research expedition.

The ship is equipped with two 5MW Azipod engines. These are propeller nacelles in a submerged pod outside the ship hull and can rotate 360° to increase manoeuvrability, which is essential for icebreakers. The Svalbard can break through the ice over two metres thick.

There is an electric motor in each pod. However, it does not receive its power from a high-voltage storage tank, but rather from a serial hybrid: the ship’s diesel engine drives a generator that generates the necessary electricity.

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