New commercial-grade electric drive for passenger ferries

Torqeedo and Poseidon Propulsion have together announced a fully electric, steerable thruster system designed to provide up to 65 kW of emission-free power and directional thrust which they say is ideal for manoeuvring on Europe’s inland waterways. 

Poseidon’s thruster is integrated into Torqeedo‘s award-winning 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 of these drives would be typical 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 said to further 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, making them suitable for use in inland vessels according to ES-TRIN (European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels) requirements. A DNV-GL type-approved battery variant is also available for offshore 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,” explains Phillip Goethe, director project sales. 
The company says electrification of vessels in inner-city waterways with Deep Blue can be accomplished very 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 is also said to add manoeuvrability to the proven Deep Blue system, an advantage for inland and urban waterways.

“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,” says Axel Büchling, manager project sales for Torqeedo.

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 can also offer advice regarding current funding opportunities or subsidies, depending on the project.

One response to “New commercial-grade electric drive for passenger ferries”

  1. Matt Greenslade says:

    Good morning,
    I operate an established passenger ferry company that meet your criteria ie passenger capability 150 to 179 passengers here in the UK.
    Due to the current covid lockdown I am looking at an opportunity diversifying and adding a brand new connection with a vessel operating a carbon free route to a national nature reserve .
    I am very interested in what funding opportunities or subsidies are available.

    Kind regards

    Matt Greenslade