Torqeedo and Poseidon Propulsion B.V. are introducing a fully-electric steerable thruster system designed to provide up to 65 kW of emissions-free power and directional thrust.
The first vessel with the new system will is a 14.65 meter long solar-electric passenger ferry under construction by the Ampereship shipyard in Germany. It will operate between the North German mainland town of Kamp and the island of Usedom and will transport up to 20 people and 15 bicycles per trip at a cruising speed of 8 km/h, with a maximum speed of 14 km/h. It is scheduled to start operations in August 2021.
The new propulsion system integrates Poseidon’s thruster into Torqeedo’s highly efficient Deep Blue drive. The thruster delivers continuous power of 50 kW and peak power of 65 kW and can rotate up to 360 degrees.
Two drives are a typical configuration for the average 80 to 200-passenger vessel, but up to four may be installed. With service intervals of as long as 25,000 hours and the optimized efficiency of a pulling propeller, the Poseidon thruster integration for Deep Blue is designed to lower the total cost of ownership for climate-friendly ferries and water taxis.
The system is powered by Deep Blue lithium-ion batteries with a battery bank capacity of 80 kWh to 1 MWh. These high-capacity batteries with technology by BMWi meet IEC 62619 and IEC 62620 requirements, shore applications.
The electro-hydraulic steering system was developed by FS-Schiffstechnik in Duisburg, Germany.
“There are many commercial applications that can be electrified very economically. Our focus is to keep the total cost of ownership low by offering a solution on a system level, including design-in, service, maintenance and remote diagnostics. This makes electrification as easy and safe as possible for the shipyard and the fleet operator,” says Phillip Goethe, director project sales at Torqeedo.
Electrification of vessels used on urban waterways with Deep Blue can be accomplished cost-effectively because speeds are often limited and the vessels are typically in use for 8-14 hours per day, which leaves plenty of time for overnight charging. That reduces infrastructure and battery bank costs and makes the entire investment even more economically and ecologically beneficial. The new thruster drive option adds unbeatable maneuverability to the proven Deep Blue system—a critical advantage for inland and urban waterways.
Axel Büchling, manager project sales for Torqeedo, has 24 years of experience in marine electrification and has converted many ferries in Europe to electric drives.
“The technology is ready. Up to 200 kW propulsive power is enough to operate most inland passenger vessels. The modular system design allows the operator to use the same parts and components in different vessels and all components can be monitored and serviced remotely. That is a big advantage,” Büchling says.
Büchling also noted that Torqeedo’s global service network, supported by parent company Deutz, can provide optimal support to its customers no matter where they are. To make the transition as easy as possible, Torqeedo also may offer advice regarding current funding opportunities or subsidies, depending on the project.
“The Poseidon Propulsion azimuth thruster units are designed and built in-house in the Netherlands with a focus on efficiency, durability and very low maintenance which fits the application of electric propulsion systems. A perfect match with Torqeedo’s Deep Blue drive system,” says Marwin Fernhout, sales engineer, Poseidon Propulsion.
“The gearwheels are ‘Klingelnberg’ spiral bevel gears for low noise levels and the aluminum propeller is a highly skewed, five blade for optimum performance,” says Albert van Wijk, director, Poseidon Propulsion. “Using these and commercial parameters to design the unit, combined with the seawater-resistant (hard) anodized high tensile aluminum, a lightweight and professional azimuth thruster is created.”