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Latest research results on dynamic positioning of vessels fitted with Voith Schneider Propellers

In order to maintain a designated position as precisely as possible, dynamic positioning (DP) is of the utmost importance for offshore vessels. Recent Voith research results prove that vessels equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) easily outperform vessels fitted with conventional azimuth thrusters when it comes to DP.
Voith initiated a research project to specifically examine the exact DP behavior of vessels. The mathematically and physically demanding calculations required sophisticated programming and proved: Following an oblique gust of wind with a force of 10 tons, a VSP vessel only deviates by 95 cm from the designated position, while a vessel equipped with azimuth thrusters moves out by 4.1 m.

It is not just ecological reasons such as lower emissions that provide an incentive to research the exact DP behavior of vessels but also economical factors: The use of Voith Schneider Propellers optimizes the DP behavior, thus increasing vessel availability as well as safety in adverse weather conditions. Another benefit is the reduction in fuel consumption resulting from the fact that a VSP-equipped vessel moves less in DP mode.

The latest scientific evidence has already been demonstrated in practice: The offshore installation vessel "North Sea Giant" is equipped with five 36R6 ECR/285-2 Voith Schneider Propellers. The input power of these five largest and most powerful Voith propulsion systems is 3.8 MW each. Recently, the vessel was able to carry out the pile foundation for a Voith tidal turbine near the Orkney Islands despite adverse weather conditions; a task where other vessels without VSP had already failed.

Voith Turbo, the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith GmbH.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 40,000 people, generates €5.6 billion in sales, operates in over 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.


Adela Trstenjak

Voith Turbo Marine GmbH & Co. KG, Division Marine


t +49 7321 37-2594