Schottel: new mechanical hybrid solution for thrusters

Schottel SYDRIVE-M in light operation mode Schottel SYDRIVE-M in light operation mode (credit: Schottel)

Schottel, the German-based propulsion specialist, has developed a new mechanical hybrid solution for thrusters on workboats, improving main engine loading and optimising utilisation during light operation.

Schottel has submitted a patent application to cover its new mechanical hybrid solution. The solution, which draws on Schottel's Y-Hybrid thruster technology, mechanically connects two azimuth thrusters with one of the main engines on workboats and tugs during periods of light operation.

Conventional hybrid propulsion systems are normally configured with two independent power sources per propeller, typically a main engine and a smaller electric engine, to manage the periods of time spent with low engine loads.

The SYDRIVE-M solution allows the mechanical connection to be changed when full power is required. For short operation times when full propulsion power is needed, the connection between the two thrusters is disengaged and each main engine is engaged to each thruster. In fire-fighting mode, the main engine is used to drive the pump through its front power take-off.

Allowing one of the main engines to be idled during light operation, which accounts for 90% of workboat activity, reduces operational hours for each of the main engines. In addition, each main engine benefits from better loading during light operation compared with current operation.

Schottel’s solution eliminates the need for additional electronic components or an additional gear box.


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