Schottel and Denmark’s Svitzer have developed a new hybrid propulsion concept for use in both newbuild and retrofit vessel projects.

The new Schottel Sydrive-M concept is based on the Schottel Y-Hybrid upper gear technology for azimuth thrusters.

It is designed to link a port and starboard mounted azimuth thruster in a vessel with each other, allowing the propelling of two thrusters with either one of the vessel’s main engines.

According to Schottel, the new hybrid propulsion system does not require any additional electronic components or gearbox.

Schottel Sydrive-M concept primarily runs on three operation modes, namely Light Operation or Free Sailing Mode, Full Thrust Operation Mode, and FiFi-Mode.

In a statement, Schottel said: “The core functionality of Sydrive-M is to mechanically connect two thrusters and one of the two main engines for all light operation activities, which do not require the full power of the two main engines.

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“In this synchronised light operation mode, one of the two main propulsion engines remains alternating off.

“This leads to a noticeable reduction of operating hours of the main propulsion engines, and thus to a reduction of maintenance costs.”

“This leads to a noticeable reduction of operating hours of the main propulsion engines, and thus to a reduction of maintenance costs.”

Schottel Sydrive-Mis is designed to act like any other directly driven propulsion system when it runs in full-thrust operation mode.

In FiFi-Mode, the technology is capable of conducting fire-fighting operations by eliminating the need for additional investment in components such as medium or heavy duty slipping clutches, CP propellers or dedicated engines to supply power to a FiFi-pump.

Schottel and Svitzer are planning to begin a pilot project to retrofit an existing tug with the Schottel Sydrive-M technology.

The retrofitting is expected to convert the direct-driven vessel into a greener and more cost-efficient vessel.