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New Fin Stabilizer Technology

By Corey D. Ranslem, August 8, 2022

The 5000S and F45 hybrid stabilizer control system could be a game changer.

When thinking about cutting-edge technology, stabilization products aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, this type of technology has come a long way in the last few years. Fin stabilizers improve the comfort of a ship’s ride, reducing crew fatigue and the chance of accidents. Based in Fort Lauderdale, with offices in the Netherlands and Spain, Quantum Stabilizers has taken a major step forward in stabilizer technology with the launch of the 5000S Stabilizer Control System.

The 5000S acts as the brain of the entire system. Built on a modular platform, it can support older, current and future control generations with much greater capacity. With limited on-board bandwidth, the 5000S is the only control system with a recording function that can be saved and downloaded later. Designed for remote access from anywhere in the world with a separately registered internet module for secure troubleshooting and technical support. The 5000S is capable of real-time data processing and is designed to withstand harsh marine environments using off-the-shelf components.

A conventional hydraulic system continues to consume 40% of maximum power even when not needed, while the F45 Hybrid drops to less than 1kW in standby mode.

Quantum is also developing a new hybrid hydraulic/electric stabilization system that uses the best attributes of both power sources. The hybrid system is touted as an efficient, quiet system that produces no heat. It provides smooth power with no fluctuations and requires 60% less power than standard systems. A conventional hydraulic system continues to consume his 40% of maximum power even when it is not needed, while the F45 Hybrid drops him to less than 1kW in standby mode. These efficiencies result in more extreme power fluctuations, but fluctuations can be managed using new Quantum patented products that reduce the cyclical power load on the generator.

CEO John Allen says the system consumes as much energy as it needs, when it needs it. “By reducing the load on generators, we also reduce fuel costs and environmental impact,” he said.

Electric fin stabilizers for large vessels over 197 feet (60 m) are prohibitively expensive due to the prices associated with gearboxes and servo motors. Motorized fins with gearboxes should be designed to handle slamming loads. This makes the hydraulic system easier to handle with relief valves. The new F45 Hybrid uses a high dynamic servo motor coupled to a low inertia hydraulic pump that moves hydraulic fluid directly in a closed loop to sweep the fins. This greatly simplifies the overall system and removes all components that make hydraulics inefficient.

Quantum believes the F45 hybrid solution meets both the long-term energy efficiency requirements and peak transient energy needs of closed marine electrical systems. The system is scheduled to be available in June 2023, but the 5000S control system is available now.

Triton Technical Editor Corey Lanslem is CEO of a maritime intelligence and security company (DRYADGLOBAL.COM) with over 24 years of combined Coast Guard and maritime industry experience.