Portable Dynamic Positioning System

Thrustmaster’s patented Portable Dynamic Positioning System is a unique modular system of azimuth thrusters, power modules and controls allowing quick dockside conversion of any work barge or ship to a dynamically positioned vessel.

Ideal for upgrading derrick barges, pipelay vessels, cable lay barges, accommodation vessels, FPSO’s, heavy lift vessels, and more. As offshore operations move to deeper waters, you can upgrade your anchor moored vessels to DP-1, DP-2 or even DP-3 to meet and exceed the standards set by any classification society.

The system consists of several hydraulic outboard thrusters with a HPU (Hydraulic Power Unit) for each. If needed, a DP Control Van can be included with the DP electronics and control conveniently contained with air conditioning.

Typical power ratings range from 300hp (225kW) to 3000hp (2250kW) and can be mounted directly onto the deck or onto platforms attached to the side of the vessel. Conversion to DP service can be accomplished in a very short amount of time after receiving the thrusters and HPU’s and DP system.

For a detailed tailored proposal to your application, please contact our sales department.


Quick DP Conversion

Installation of the Thrustmaster Portable Dynamic Positioning System (PDPS) allows you to easily upgrade any vessel type in to a DPS platform per any of the major classification societies. Highlighted in the video to the right you will see a conventional barge that is converted into a DPS barge.

The portable thrusters are mounted on deck using a minimum amount of deck space. They use direct hydraulic drive to the propeller. The variable speed hydrostatic drive motor is in the lower foot of the thruster directly in line with the propeller shaft. This direct hydraulic drive eliminates the need for right angle gear transmissions and drive shafts used on other thrusters.

Hydraulic hoses run from the deck mounted upper thruster assembly down to the propulsion motor in the lower foot of the thruster. The thruster stem contains these hydraulic hoses. There are no moving parts in the thruster stem, other than the hydraulic fluid running through these hoses. This makes for an extremely simple and reliable thruster design. It allows mounting on deck without intermediate stem support. The upper structure is designed to handle the omni-directional cantilever moment from the thruster in much the same way as a deck crane handles the cantilever moment of its load. The stem length can easily be adapted to accommodate different vessel depths.

Portable Thrusters

The closed loop hydraulic drive of the propeller is highly efficient. Transmission efficiency from diesel engine to propeller is typically 80 to 82 percent at full load. It even increases at partial load. Half-load transmission efficiency is typically 82 to 85 percent. Since DP systems run at partial load most of the time, the partial load efficiency is of particular importance.

The hydraulic system acts as a vibration dampener. Propeller induced vibrations and engine induced vibrations are dampened by the hydraulic system and isolated from one another. There are no torsional or lateral critical speeds within the operating range of the equipment. The drive is extremely smooth.

Propeller speed is infinitely controlled through control of pump displacement. The DP computer accurately controls thruster output by comparing its electrical output signal to the pressure feedback signal from the hydraulic drive. Hydraulic pressure is directly proportional to propeller torque, so the feedback accurately represents delivered thrust, unlike speed feedbacks used on most older systems.

Hydraulic systems are extremely reliable, provided they are properly designed and the hydraulic fluid stays clean and cool. An appropriately sized heat exchanger on the power unit keeps the fluid cool while charge filters, return filters, and flushing filters keep the fluid at a high level of cleanliness. Pressurized breathers virtually eliminate air ingestion to keep the moisture out of the system.

Hydraulic Outboard Propulsion Units

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