ZF launches hybrid azimuth thruster at SMM

By Becky Schultz06 September 2022

ZF AT 80 hybrid thruster The ZF AT 80 hybrid thruster system is suitable for various professional vessel types with a performance range of approximately 900 to 1600 kW. (Photo: ZF)

At this year’s SMM marine trade fair in Hamburg, Germany, ZF is unveiling a hybrid version of its ZF AT 80 thruster system. The new hybrid propulsion solution is suitable for a range of professional vessel types with a performance range of approximately 900 kW to 1600 kW.

“Providing green driveline solutions is a core goal and competence across our whole group, from automotive to marine technology and everything in between. The new hybrid AT 80 thruster closes the performance gap in more sustainable propulsion for a wide array of vessels,” said Andre Körner, head of Product Line Commercial & Fast Craft at ZF.

The hybrid AT 80 is available as an azimuth thruster; an electric motor is placed at the upper gearbox’s Power-Take-In (PTI), with performance tailored to the individual vessel type and application. Applications can range from tugs and pushers to ferries, research vessels, supply boats and more.

The new thruster enables full electric sailing and maneuvering, which is especially beneficial in ports or waterways with strict emissions and noise regulations. It can also be used as an additional booster, such as to avoid obstacles or increase top speed as needed, as well as for firefighting purposes, with the diesel engine and electric motor separately driving the firefighting pump and thruster.

The hybrid AT 80 includes a special seal arrangement designed for biodegradable oil (EAL). It is also available as a purely electrically driven solution (L-drive configuration), as well as with various optional features such as an integrated brake or power take-off (PTO).

According to the company, the new hybrid thruster is part of a move to accelerate the electrification of its portfolio of seafaring technology. ZF plans to update its entire AT series of marine propulsion systems, which includes thruster sizes and performance ranging from 100 kW up to 2500 kW. It added that the hybrid version of the AT 80 is a preview of these completely new systems, both in terms of quality and the features that will be offered.

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