Yachting Art Magazine

Volvo Penta introduces Active Corrosion Protection for sterndrives

Volvo Penta is now offering its Active Corrosion Protection system for sterndrives, providing easier ownership and constant corrosion protection of the drive in the water.

Volvo Penta introduces Active Corrosion Protection for sterndrives
Volvo Penta introduces Active Corrosion Protection for sterndrives

Volvo Penta has taken yet another vital step towards easier boat ownership with Active Corrosion Protection (ACP). The system is designed to protect the boat owner’s drive from corrosion in the water and is already available for the safeguarding of Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS) drives.

Now, ACP is being expanded to deliver constant protection to both Volvo Penta diesel and gasoline sterndrives.

“We are the first company to provide complete corrosion protection with an active system,” says Jonas Welinder, product planner for marine electronics. “Its development has been driven by customers wanting an easy solution to prevent their drive units from corrosion. It’s an exciting move and will greatly benefit boaters.”

An alternative to the traditional approach

For the marine industry, corrosion has traditionally been combatted with the installation of ‘sacrificial anodes’ – blocks made of metal such as magnesium, aluminum or zinc – which are attached to the hull or drive to prevent essential components from corroding. Sacrificial anodes are consumed over time and need to be replaced, usually during a boat’s annual service.

“The problem with the traditional system is that you never know when the sacrificial anodes are going to be completely consumed,” adds Welinder.

“They could wear away at any point without warning, which then leaves the drive at risk of corrosion. If the boat’s drive corrodes, it will need to be serviced or in some cases even replaced, which can be very costly.”

How it works

ACP presents a more effective and reliable option compared to using conventional corrosion protection with sacrificial anodes. By applying impressed currents through a transom unit, the system protects the drive from galvanic corrosion – continually measuring and automatically adjusting the electrical output for ideal protection in both brackish and salt water. It replaces the need for sacrificial anodes on the drive, giving the boat owner the knowledge that their drive is protected.

Fully integrated for ease and use

Volvo Penta’s ACP system is fully integrated into the boat’s Electronic Vessel Control (EVC), enabling the owner to monitor the protection status directly from the helm. It is integrated in the standard engine displays, meaning no extra displays are needed.

The system comes as a complete package, including a control unit, a transom unit and a back-up sacrificial anode. The system is powered by the boat’s auxiliary battery, backed-up with shore power when at the dock. If the battery level is low, the drive is still protected by the back-up sacrificial anode.

Innovation through dedicated testing

Corrosion protection is an area in which Volvo Penta has been innovating for a long time. The company’s Krossholmen test facility in Gothenburg, Sweden has a dedicated testing environment for corrosion protection – one of only a few corrosion testing facilities in the world.

“We have learned a lot through testing and we’re taking another step forward in offering ACP for sterndrives,” concludes Welinder. “We want to make boating as easy for customers as possible, as there is a demand for immediate usability with low maintenance. In making sure the drive is always protected in the water, we are providing customers with a more hassle-free solution.”

Volvo Penta’s ACP is compatible with Volvo Penta sterndrive engines with EVC in single and twin installations. It can also be retrofitted on engines produced from 2007 with EVC generation C2 or later.

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