Wärtsilä has launched a new thruster, the Wärtsilä WST-24R, which it describes as the industry’s first tilted steerable thruster with combined electric retraction and steering.
Enabling auxiliary manoeuvring in stationkeeping or dynamic positioning (DP) operations, the WST-24R is designed to provide reliability, easy installation, integration and maintenance.
One of the notable features of the new thruster is the gearbox, which has a propeller shaft configuration tilted at 8 degrees. This significantly reduces thruster/hull interaction and losses, producing up to 20% more effective thrust than conventional non-tilted thrusters and reducing fuel consumption. “This extra effective thrust directly contributes to the advanced DP capability of a vessel,” said the company.
Replacing the existing LMT 1510, the WST-24R thruster offers more than 10% thrust. This, combined with improved hydrodynamics and a dedicated Wärtsilä thruster nozzle design, reduces the environmental impact of the propulsion system. The WST-24R can also be delivered to comply with clean class notation and is compatible with the US EPA's VGP2013 requirements.
The WST-24R is also designed for enhanced reliability, with fewer components than its predecessor. All systems are easily accessible for maintenance, while the combined steering-retraction seals, designed to have no oil to water interface to reduce environmental risk, can be replaced from inboard. Steering is electric, rather than hydraulic, further enhancing the capabilities of the system, and the new retraction system is lightweight and safe with self-locking electric actuation. The unit is particularly suited to applications in shuttle tankers, offshore support and construction vessels.
“This latest addition to our thruster offering increases operational efficiency. The pre-aligned plug and play installation reduces shipyard time and costs. There are other retractable thrusters of this size on the market, but the WST-24R is the only one with the tilted configuration advantage,” said Wärtsilä Marine Solutions director, thrusters and propulsion controls, Michel van Veluw.