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A visit onboard the icebreaker Atle, 2019

An exiting day when I got the chance to visit the icebreaker Atle


In July 2019 there was an open day at the icebreaker Atle. Something that I don't want to miss, took a day free and got there.

In the winter Sweden is a very cool country with thick ice on the seas. To handle this we have a couples of ice breakers.

At Wikipedia there is more information about Swedish icebreakers (sorry, only Swedish)e:


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

They are rebuilding the harbor and it was not so easy to find the walkway to Atle, but here it is.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

They only stay here today and the only chance for us who living in Stockholm to do a visit. In the middle you see the helicopter landing platform. They call the ship an airport.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Aft deck.

At Wikipedia there is more information about the icebreaker Atle:


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The mechanism that hold the towing cable in correct position.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Machinery for the tow cable.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Atle was built 1974 and is 45 years old today, but it's modern compare with the icebreaker Sankt Erik that I have visited earlier, Sankt Erik was built 1915.

It's written in Swedish, but look at the pictures.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Life boat, it can take up to 50 people.

In the summer when the icebreakers are not needed they can be used for science work. This summer the icebreaker Oden is at the Northern polar cap and doing research about the environment.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The crew helped me and answer all the questions I had, now up to the bridge.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Frihamnen is one of the old harbors in Stockholm that still is active. My father visited this harbor many times when he was out on sea during the 1940s.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The white building in the background is the Swedish stock exchange market. In earlier days it was Ford's car factory.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Outdoor bath, appreciated by the crew during hot summer days.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Captain's chair.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The view from here is excellent, 25 meters above sea level.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Steering wheel, but this is the spare steering wheel. Normally not used.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

A traditional compass, used in case if the GPS system failure.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

One of the crew's cabin.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

My friend told me, don't polish a ship's bell, it gives unluck.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Living room for the crew. The ship normally have a crew of 20 people but can also take 30 passengers.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Storm pump ? Looks to be something important !


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Don't touch this handle !


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Machine control room. Looks like the machine room I visited on the Birka passenger cruiser. Built by the same shipyard, Wärtsilä.

More about Wärtsilä at Wikipedia:


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

What to do with this hand driven pump ? Maybe something to do with the fuel system.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Now we enter the exciting machine room.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

One of three pumps that control the ballast tanks. They can pump 600 m3 of water per minute and give the ship an angle of 14 degrees. A technique they use when they break thick ice.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Believe it or not but the engines are electric. Four motors with 5000 hp each. Power, 2 x 800 Volts and 3250 Ampere. Weight of each motor, 90 tons.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Water intake with ice filter, there are two of them. The water is mostly used to cooling.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Aft shaft with trust bearings. There are four propellers, two at the aft and two at the front. There is no gearbox between the motor and the shaft.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Shaft's connection to the electric motor.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Air compressors, they used compressed air (30 bar) when they start the diesel engines that power the electric generators. For critical machines there are at least two of them for safety reasons.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Water separators, fuel and lubrication oil contains water that must be removed. Same principle as Gustav de Laval's milk separator.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Water pump in case of fire. Every crew member has education to handle fire onboard. After five minutes they must have started after an alarm. I got the same education in the Swedish Royal Navy.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Tubes and pumps everywhere. About half the energy in the fuel is lost as heat, but some heat can be reused onboard. The others must be cooled by seawater.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The icebreaker has 1450 tons of fuel onboard and consume about 25 tons each day, much more when at heavy duty work.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

One of five main engines, V12 diesel with compressor and water intercooler. Together they have 25000 hp and the electric generators can deliver 20000 hp to the electric motors, 5000 hp is lost, mostly as heat. Why not direct drive ? Because diesel electric power systems are much more easy to control which is important for an icebreaker.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Diesel injection pump, one for each cylinder. The horizontal shaft above controls the amount of fuel injected to the cylinder.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

The shaft that connect the engine to the generator. They remote control start and stop of the engines that shall running dependent of the load, from two to all five when heavy load.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Top view of the five diesel engines, they are of four stroke construction. Look carefully and you see that the heads has 4 valves per cylinder. It's a bit strange to me that it's a four stroke engine, I thought all big diesel engines where two strokes.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

4 help engines, 5000 hp together. Used to power the ships electric power system. The ship's consume 5000 kWh per day when anchored at harbor and connect to land power. When on duty it consumes much more.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Look at these wooden poles, something I learned at the marine how to use if the hull get broken. You stabilize the hull with them. The hull of the icebreaker is 32 mm thick.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Storm proof shutters for the windows.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Front anchor machinery, trust 11.5 tons. Each anchor weight 4.5 tons.


A visit to the icebreaker Atle in Frihamnen, 2019

Two hours were spent on this tour, we could have spent more, very exiting!

The END

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