Launched last year, new azimuth thruster is more compact, lighter and powerful than previous generations
Caterpillar Marine’s MTA v3 azimuth thruster is an evolutionary step change from previous generations, offering improved fuel efficiency, increased bollard pull and lighter weight.
Covering the entire Cat 3500 range with the MTA 524, 627 and 628, MTA v3 is offered in the power range of 1,500-2,525 kW.
Caterpillar Marine says that in comparison to the MTA v2 , the MTA v3 is 20% lighter, has decreased oil volume by 27%, and has an increased power density of 25%. Vessels equipped with the MTA v3 azimuth thruster will also experience a 3% bollard pull increase over MTA v2 units.
Another consideration in the design of the MTA v3 was space and installation savings. Caterpillar Marine’s solution was to incorporate the hydraulic power pack, gravity tank, filters, cooler and clutch hydraulics into the azimuth unit itself.
Operational flexibility is increased via a hybrid interface, which allows switching between mechanical and electric power for the azimuth thrusters. This allows operators to achieve a higher average engine load by running only the necessary engines or generator sets, dependent upon the operation mode. As a result, owners can realise reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs by running fewer hours on the main engines.
The hybrid system has several benefits, offering higher average engine load, less running hours on main engines, and increased redundancy.
Users can select between different modes of operation to provide the best drive experience based on their performance needs.
Azimuth thruster propulsion will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s Smart Tug Operations Conference in Singapore on 16 September