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September 18, 2018
New MTU Hybrid Propulsion Systems for Ships

As of 2020, a new range of completely integrated MTU hybrid ship propulsion systems will become available.

The propulsion systems will also be made available for yachts, work boats, ferries and patrol boats in a power range extending from around 1000-4000 kW per powertrain. A new MTU hybrid system incorporating Series 2000 engines will be tested in a yacht in 2019.

Modular System

'The combination of diesel engines and electric motors, in addition to batteries, will offer our customers significant benefits in a variety of marine applications. The most important being efficiency, environmental compatibility and the flexibility of the propulsion system,' said Knut Müller, Head of the Marine and Government Business at MTU. 'With the aid of a modular system, we will make integrated hybrid propulsion systems available that are tailored to the customer’s specific requirements.'

Variable Propulsion Modes for Various Vessels

For tug boats, the hybrid propulsion system offers the possibility of being able to manoeuvre very precisely using the electric motor, for example, or to deliver a powerful bollard pull using the entire power output of the diesel engines and electric motors combined.

In the case of yachts or passenger ships, however, high power output - on the one hand - and a significant increase in comfort levels resulting from the silent, vibration-free and emission-free cruising – on the other - is of interest.

For patrol boats and other applications with very high requirements in terms of speed and performance or a widely varying demand for power, hybrid propulsion systems can offer economic benefits alongside high power output. The lower operating costs of hybrid propulsion systems are also of distinct benefit to operators.

Integrated Hybrid Propulsion Systems

MTU will be offering complete hybrid propulsion systems for ships, consisting of MTU internal combustion engines, electric drive modules, transmission systems, batteries, monitoring and control systems, in addition to other electronic components.

Power Ranges

The systems will be offered in a variety of power ranges. As of 2020, systems incorporating MTU Series 2000 engines combined with one or two electric motors per power train each with 150 kW of electrical output, will be launched on the market and will cover a power range of between approximately 1000-2200 kW per power train.

In 2021, MTU will extend its portfolio with the addition of hybrid systems based on the power delivered by MTU Series 4000 engines and as many as four electric motors, each with 150 kW of electrical output, and will cover a power range of between approximately 1000-4000 kW per powertrain.

MTU Hybrid Propulsion on Yachts

MTU has already equipped a number of ships with customer-specific hybrid propulsion systems. Sailing Yacht A, for example, the world’s largest sailing yacht, which was commissioned in 2017, has been fitted out with an MTU hybrid system.

This is a combined diesel-electric propulsion system that offers seven different propulsion modes. When needed, a maximum speed of 21 knots is achieved using the diesel engines and electric motors for a combined power output of close to 16,000 kW; while slow cruising with very low vibration levels and reduced fuel consumption is also possible.

With its “Nova Hybrid” project, the Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts is offering customers a 50-m fast displacement yacht that combines 1200 kW of diesel power (2 x MTU 12V 2000 M61) with 2 x 110 kW of electrical output. The all-aluminium yacht can travel at a speed of 9 knots on electrical power alone, while offering completely silent cruising.

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