EPS Thruster Grabs Dutch Innovation Award

Van der Velden Marine Systems' EPS Thruster has now won two major Dutch Maritime awards.

The prestigious 2006 Dutch Maritime Innovation Award went to Van der Velden Marine Systems in presentations at Groenekan near Utrecht last month. The prize completes a successful year for the company's EPS Thruster, which had also won the DAME Award at METS 2005.

The EPS Thruster is a bow thruster made of synthetic fibre without a central shaft but with an integrated electric drive in the outer rim to which the propeller blades are connected. The thruster delivers lower noise levels and improved comfort for those on board in a low weight package. Operators and naval architects also benefit in terms of power, performance, robustness and environmental friendliness.

The EPS Thruster faced stiff competition for the prize from 14 other entries. In its report, the expert jury commended Van der Velden Marine Systems for the way in which it created an innovation consortium with other companies and institutes to develop the product, thus enriching its own knowledge from third party sources.

The EPS Thruster is now available in inner diameters of 450, 500, 650, 800 and 1050mm and 12 power ratings ranging from 22 to 295 kW. A compact retractable version is available and a fully retractable system is being developed.

Vertically adjustable propellers based on the EPS could offer advantages for vessels operating in shallow waters, allowing the propellers of inland and coastal vessels to stay fully submerged regardless of load. An azimuthing version will also be released soon.

The Jacona Prins, an oyster dredger built by Damen Shipyards Group member Masskant Bruinesse BV, won the Dutch KNVTS Ship of the Year Award. The vessel features a number of innovations, including all diesel electric operation and a newly developed fishing system with which the entire process from catching oysters to distribution into the holds can be controlled from the wheelhouse by one person.

MJ Information No: 22530

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