ZF on a roll with several large contracts

The Italian Coast Guard’s deep-sea supply vessel will be equipped with a ZF 9300 PTI hybrid gearbox The Italian Coast Guard’s deep-sea supply vessel will be equipped with a ZF 9300 PTI hybrid gearbox
Industry Database

Friedrichshafen-based ZF Marine, in conjunction with Dutch company HRP (now ZF Marine Krimpen) has secured a contract with Aberdeen-based global shipping and energy firm, the Craig Group, to supply retractable azimuth thrusters for four 50m stand-by type vessels.

The recent order from the Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Balenciaga is worth over 1.5 million and scheduled for 2011 and 2012 delivery.

The vessels will be equipped with four ZF AT 4011 retractable azimuth thrusters featuring 19A nozzles to give a power output of 380kW. Power supply includes electric motors giving 380kW at 1,200rpm, as well as 12-pulse frequency converters.

Since HRP joined the ZF Group last year, the close collaboration between ZF Services España and ZF Marine Krimpen has been pivotal to this important order. It is hoped this will be the first in a long list of sales successes for ZF Marine Krimpen products.

Located on the north coast of Spain in the Bay of Biscay, Astilleros Balenciaga is one of Spain’s most prestigious shipbuilders and, in the last few decades, as well as constructing container ships and factory freezer vessels for tuna fishing, the shipbuilder has specialised in offshore and stand-by vessels as well as tugs.

In 2001, the Craig Group signed its first shipbuilding contract with Astilleros Balenciaga on behalf of its subsidiary North Star Shipping. The Scottish group has since re-affirmed its confidence in the shipyard by commissioning 10 more vessels as part of the renovation and enlargement of its offshore fleet.

Hybrid propulsion

The latest order placed with Siemens Marine Solutions proves that diesel-electric propulsion systems are suitable not only for large merchant and naval vessels but also for smaller ships.

The Italian shipyard Cantieri Navali Megaride has commissioned Siemens to equip a 65m offshore supply vessel of the Italian coast guard with the Siship EcoProp hybrid propulsion system, with ZF Marine supplying Siemens with a ZF 9300 PTI ‘hybrid-ready’ gearbox which is ready to be matched with electric motors for hybrid propulsion systems.

This innovative propulsion solution has been especially developed to meet the requirements of smaller ships. Diesel engines are combined with advanced electric drive components, each of which has an output of 180kW per shaft. An added benefit claimed for the system is that it can be installed in tight spaces. Various modes of operation optimise utilisation of the diesel engines, resulting in reduced fuel and energy consumption as well as lower CO2 emissions. Other advantages over conventional diesel engines include a greater cruising range, higher reliability and less noise pollution. The EcoProp system is scheduled to be commissioned at the beginning of 2012.

The Siemens propulsion system includes two main gear units, electric propulsion motors and the hybrid propulsion control system. The standardised modules require very little space on board. Siemens will be responsible for the project management, engineering and commissioning of the complete diesel-electric propulsion system. The vessel was designed by the Italian project office Errenavi in Rome, Italy.

When a ship is electrically powered in the lower load range, efficiency of the propulsion system is increased, which in turn saves substantial amounts of energy and fuel. Often only about 10% of the main propulsion power is required from the electric drive. As a result, hybrid propulsion systems offer substantial potential for increasing energy efficiency, particularly for ships with frequently changing drive modes and running speeds.

The correct propulsion mode for the particular task or purpose can be selected with a modern hybrid control system. In diesel mode, the power comes from the diesel engines, which drive the generators for the on-board power supply system while the ship is at sea. In electric mode, the same generators that provide on-board power propel the ship, but at low speeds. This enables the main propulsion engines to run at optimum utilisation in diesel mode, or to be switched off completely in the low operating profile when the ship is sailing at low speed.

Running the diesel engines continually within their optimum load range not only reduces fuel consumption and emissions but also lengthens service life. In addition, longer service intervals for the propulsion diesel engines also help save money. Using electric motors in combination with diesel engines substantially increases the availability of the overall system.

Benefits include greater flexibility and safety in everyday operation as well as during difficult manoeuvres in harbours and bays, and when anchoring.

Indian success continues

In partnership with Tognum Group’s MTU engine business unit, ZF Marine Middle East has confirmed ZF Marine transmission systems will be used in the Indian Coast Guard’s latest fleet of 48m inshore fast patrol boats.

This is part of the Coast Guard’s expansion programme and follows a contract awarded to India’s Cochin Shipyard, in the southern city of Kochi, which is building 20 of the triple-engined vessels due for delivery between 2011 and 2014.

Around 190 ZF 7600 gearbox units coupled to 16V 4000 MTU M90 engines have already been supplied to the Indian Coast Guard and Navy in recent years. This latest order comprises 60 MTU 16V 4000 M90 engines, each with an output of 2,720kW at 2,100rpm, with 60 ZF 7600 gearboxes.

The diverse duties of the Indian Coast Guard include fishery protection, combating smuggling and terrorism, prevention of illegal immigration, search and rescue operations as well as marine environment protection. The new triple-engined craft will have an output of 2,720kW (3,648bhp) per unit. In combination with waterjet drives, this will deliver up to 35 knots performance.

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