MTU Marine Hybrids In 2020

By Mike Brezonick05 September 2018

Rolls-Royce said it will launch a range of completely integrated MTU hybrid ship propulsion systems to the market in 2020. The propulsion systems will be available for yachts, workboats, ferries and patrol boats in a power range extending from around 1 to 4 MW (1300 to 5300 hp) per powertrain. The company plans to test a new MTU hybrid system incorporating Series 2000 diesel engines in a yacht in 2019.

“The combination of diesel engines and electric motors, in addition to batteries, will offer our customers significant benefits in a variety of marine applications,” said Knut Müller, head of the Marine and Government Business at MTU. “The most important being efficiency, environmental compatibility and the flexibility of the propulsion system.

“With the aid of a modular system, we will make integrated hybrid propulsion systems available that are tailored to the customer’s specific requirements.”

Rolls-Royce will be offering complete hybrid propulsion systems from MTU for ships, consisting of MTU internal combustion engines, electric drive modules, transmission systems, batteries, monitoring and control systems, in addition to other electronic components. “We will provide integrated systems to our customers, together with an appropriate selection of propulsion modes that are easy to operate,” Müller said. “This is something we are quite capable of doing as a result of decades of experience in system integration and with the aid of our Blue Vision New Generation Hybrid automation system.”

MTU has supplied hybrid propulsion systems for several vessels, including the ‘Nova Hybrid’ project yachts by Heesen shipyard in the Netherlands. The 50 m vessels are equipped with twin MTU 12V 2000M61 diesel engines rated 1.2 MW and two 110 kW electric motors.

The systems will be offered in a variety of power ranges to suit individual customer requirements. As of 2020, systems incorporating MTU Series 2000 engines combined with one or two 150 kW electric motors per powertrain, will be launched on the market and will cover a power range of approximately  1 to 2.2 MW (1300 to 2950 hp) per unit. MTU will then 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, which cover a power range of approximately 1 to 4 MW (1300 to 5300 hp) per powertrain.

MTU said it has already equipped a number of ships with customer-specific hybrid propulsion systems. Sailing Yacht A, one of the world’s largest sailing yachts which was commissioned in 2017, is equipped with an MTU 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 more than 16 MW (21,000 hp).

With its Nova Hybrid project, the Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts is offering customers a 50 m fast displacement yacht that combines 1.2 MW of diesel power from a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M61 marine diesels with 220 kW of electrical output. The all-aluminum yacht can travel at a speed of 9 knots on electrical power alone, while offering completely silent cruising, MTU said.

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