New propulsion system enables independent engine and propeller control

Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive (AVD) The speed of the propellers can be varied continuously throughout their full speed range with the Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive (AVD)

New propulsion system enables independent engine and propeller control

Caterpillar Marine has partnered with Caterpillar Innovation & Technology Development Division (ITDD) to create Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive (AVD), a fully integrated propulsion system from bridge interface down to the propellers.

Igor Strashny, Caterpillar ITDD engineering manager, who has responsibility for advanced marine propulsion, said: “Thanks to the flexibility enabled by the innovative Caterpillar AVD technology, the speed of the vessel’s engines can be modulated and optimized independently from the speed of the fixed pitch propellers.

“The speed of the propellers can be varied continuously throughout their full speed range. In addition, the power of the main and auxiliary engines can be channelled independently or jointly to propel the vessel.”

Developed using Caterpillar’s experience with heavy duty continuously variable transmission (CVT) technology, advanced controls and power system integration knowledge, the AVD is designed to provide optimum manoeuvrability, fuel and operational efficiency to reduce maintenance costs.

The system is scalable to meet the requirements of a wide range of vessel types, applications and power levels and enables effective downsizing of engines without the loss of performance,” said Mr Strashny.

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