Schottel focuses on hybrids and offshore
German propulsion specialist Schottel’s latest propulsion solutions feature hybrid concepts and offshore applications, being geared towards demands for environmentally friendly propulsion systems.
All of the latest systems are designed to be compact, powerful and maintenance-friendly. In particular, the company has responded to demands for flexible solutions for vessels with variable work cycles. Typical of this concept is the Svitzer Ecotug design, which uses an electric Schottel Combi Drive (SCD), which led Schottel to develop further similar solutions.
When vessels operate over a wide power spectrum, including periods requiring either very low or very high power (e.g. in standby state or towing operations), with conventional systems the result is high fuel consumption and emissions. Using the Schottel hybrid concepts, an electric motor will suffice for part load duties. The diesel engine is employed for operation at greater load, and the electric motor can be switched on to provide additional power. This system is used in the EDDY tug, now in operation, and two others currently under construction.
The 65t bollard pull EDDY tug has two SRP 3000 PTI rudderpropellers, each of 1,900kW, with PTI mounted on the gearbox. The PTI is driven by a 460kW electric motor for manoeuvring and transit at up to 10 knots. The boost mode, with both diesel and electric power, is used for maximum bollard pull or for high torque requirements. The PTI and diesel engine are controlled centrally as a single system. A higher power version, the SRP 4000 PTI, is also produced, and Schottel says the system is suitable for vessels like ferries as well as tugs.
Two 90t BP tugs currently under construction are each to be fitted with two Schottel SRP 4000s of 2,240kW with hybrid gearboxes. This system offers a 600kW electric motor controlled by a hydraulic clutch, again offering electric, diesel or combined modes. Schottel offers this solution for hybrid concepts with Rudderpropeller input power ratings of up to 4,200kW.
Schottel says its hybrid solutions are compact, simple to install and maintain, and do not require batteries. The main propulsion engine can be specified smaller, and runs for fewer hours, leading to longer life and lower maintenance, while the electric motor provides redundancy.
With offshore vessels having to operate over longer distances and at greater water depths, larger propulsion units are required which should also be simple to maintain and repair. Schottel’s solution is its new underwater mountable SRP 9000 LSU rudderpropeller. The unit, of 4,800kW to 5,500kW rating, has a hydrodynamically optimised housing and robust bevel gearboxes, and is available in configurations for both tilted and standard propeller shafts. Its sealing system is monitored for leakage by Schottel’s condition monitoring system (S-COM), which collects, records and reports all relevant values concerning the state of the system, such as oil and bearing temperatures, vibration levels, and presence of particles or water in the oil. The developers attached particular importance to the simple and fast exchange of the system without the need for docking.
Another recent introduction from Schottel aimed at the offshore market is the SRP 4000 USV retractable propulsion unit, for a power range of 2,000kW to 3,000kW. This is characterised by a low installation height which avoids the need to encroach upon the decks above. The drive motor is located beneath and to the side of the helical gearbox, and the spindle drive has been redesigned for compact size and a small footprint.
Finally, Schottel has extended its STP twin propeller propulsion unit range with the high-performance 3,500-3,800kW STP 3040 which is also aimed at demanding offshore requirements. It is hydrodynamically optimised design for operation at speeds of up to 21 knots.
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