Monday, March 21, 2005

Volvo Penta IPS

Drop the sailor’s cap and put on some racing goggles. With its new Inboard Performance System (IPS), Volvo Penta is boosting the comfort and white-knuckle fun of yachting. Volvo engineers built forward-facing propellers—like those in prop-driven airplanes—and stacked them side-by-side directly beneath the engines. Instead of pushing on water that’s already been chopped up by the engine, the blades pull on undisturbed drink, increasing efficiency and thrust. The IPS should be able to squeeze out 30 percent more horsepower; in tests, Volvo reported, it’s 20 percent faster. But it’s not all about speed. The entire propulsion system can turn like a rudder, so parking your 45-footer in a slinky slip won’t be nerve-wracking. Progressive electronic steering—a first in boating—will make it easy to turn the wheel at low speed, hard at high speed. And boaters will have a more civilized ride, thanks to vibration-dampening seals swaddling the drive unit, and submerged exhaust outlets that reduce rumbling. The good life just got better.

A new invention like this sounds like it'll really save some energy in the long run. What intersets me is that it takes in water the opposite way and it kind of seems a little confusing. Good thing theres a picture so that its easier to visualize.


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