The revolutionary EPS™ thruster by Van der Velden® Marine Systems has won the 2006 Dutch Maritime Innovation Award. Karien van Gennip, the Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs, presented the prize on 9 November in the Netherlands. This completes a successful year for the EPS™ thruster, which was already well respected after winning the DAME Award at METS 2005.
From left to right: Ir. Chris B. Maat, Project Manager Research & Development - Ing. Edwin van Buren, Technical Director - Karien van Gennip, the Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs (Copyright E.J. Bruinekool Fotografie Hilversum)
For the Maritime Innovation Award, the EPS™ thruster faced stiff competition from 14 other top class entries. In its report, the expert jury commended Van der Velden® Marine Systems for: “The ingenious way it created an innovation consortium with other companies and research institutes, thereby effectively having its in-house knowledge enriched by third parties. The EPS™ thruster offers attractive results in the field of noise levels, low weight, and comfort. Furthermore, the jury appreciated the active marketing strategy that will enlarge the chance of success of this product.”
The EPS™ also offers major benefits to owners and naval architects in terms of power-performance, robustness and environmental friendliness. It has already been ordered by a range of major yards, including Royal Huisman in the Netherlands. The EPS™ is now available in five inner diameters (450, 550, 650, 800, 1050) and twelve different power ratings (ranging from 22 to 295 kW). A compact retractable version is also available, designed to suit the specific needs of sailing yachts.
“In addition to serving as an auxiliary bow and stern thruster, the wide range of benefits offered by the EPS™ opens up many other future applications,” comments Van der Velden® Technical Director, Edwin van Buren. “With this in mind, our design and development activities will continue apace.
“We are currently looking at a fully retractable propulsion system for use onboard larger sailing yachts (leaving the hull undisturbed when sailing).
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. We truly believe that the future is here today.”