ZF and Torqeedo electrify ships with award-winning electric saildrives

ZF and Torqeedo electrify ships with award-winning electric saildrives

by ZF Group on Nov 19, 7:28 AM PST

Henr-Lloyd 2021 For the Love of Bad Weather MPU
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The Deep Blue 50 SD offers an integrated electric saildrive solution for sailboats, city ferries and water taxis. The propulsion system is emission-free and almost silent. © ZF

With the Deep Blue 50 SD, ZF and Torqeedo have successfully collaborated on a new range of emission-free propulsion systems.

  • Clean, Quiet, Powerful: Deep Blue 50 SD provides electric propulsion for emission-free docking, high-performance navigation and near-silent cruising
  • First application on the market, the Excess 15 cruising catamaran from the Beneteau Group, awarded at the 2021 METS Boat Builder Awards

As proven during its first application on the Excess 15 cruising catamaran of the Beneteau Group at the Cannes boat show: the saildrives offer clean, quiet and powerful thrust and handling. Mooring and navigation is now easier and more environmentally friendly than ever. The drives also provide efficient hydrogenation, keeping the on-board system charged during navigation, further helping to reduce the carbon footprint of a variety of vessels, including sailboats, city ferries and water taxis. The power supply system was among the winners of the 2021 METS Boat Builder Awards.

The thrill of racing, the efficiency of being in harmony with nature and the joys of relaxing at sea: for captains and passengers who want it all, a cruising catamaran like the Excess 15 is the perfect vessel. .

Even more: the benefits offered by the new Excess brand vessel of the Beneteau Group are raised to an environmentally friendly level with the Deep Blue 50 SD – an electric saildrive from ZF and development partner Torqeedo. This achievement has already been recognized at the Boat Builder Awards 2021 in Amsterdam, organized by the world’s largest maritime exhibition METSTRADE and the trade publication International Boat Industry (IBI). By beating five competitors, the power supply system won first prize in the category “Collaborative solution between boat or superyacht builder and its supply chain partner”.

“At ZF, we are committed to electrifying everything, whether on land or at sea. The Deep Blue 50 SD makes navigation, mooring and maneuvering emission-free and almost silent,” said Daniel Haerter, vice president ZF Industrial Technology Senior, Head of Off High-Way, Test Systems, Marine and Special Driveline Technology Business Unit at ZF. “The extremely professional collaboration between ZF, Torqeedo and the Excess brand of the Beneteau Group benefits both customers and the environment. Reaching a new market segment with our sustainable marine propulsion systems is truly a victory for everyone – which is further underscored by our victory at the METS 2021 Boatbuilders’ Award. ”

Successful maiden voyage

In the Excess 15 two Deep Blue 50 SDs are combined in a blue water sailing configuration, Torqeedo providing an electric motor and battery solution and ZF providing its proven and benchmark saildrive technology. “In the Deep Blue SD 50, we have successfully merged Torqeedo’s expertise in electric transmissions with ZF’s know-how as the world’s most experienced marine transmissions supplier. Together we can offer customers a flexible product portfolio to meet all transmission needs, ”said Dr. Ralf Plieninger, Managing Director of Torqeedo.

Together, the two drives generate 100 kW of power, allowing speeds of up to 10 knots. Electric sailing – that is, running the drives in low rev mode under sail – allows the catamaran to navigate through water without the aid of fossil fuels. Energy recovery under sail is more than sufficient to power hotel charges during the cruise, adding to the comfort of those on board. Without the need to start a noisy fuel-powered generator, passengers can enjoy the downtime at sea with peace of mind.

A perfect partnership

When developing the Deep Blue SD range of saildrives, ZF and Torqeedo had specific vessel types in mind. Sailboats were one of the first ships to migrate from combustion engines to hybrid and electric technology. For good reason, because they benefit in a unique way from the advantages offered by said training. When it comes to signing a partner for the first maiden voyage of the drive, the Excess range of cruising catamarans from the Beneteau Group is therefore at the forefront.

“In terms of philosophy, culture, spirit, we have found a perfect match with ZF and Torqeedo”, says Thibaut de Montvalon, Brand Director of Excess. “We all want to innovate, we all want to be a game changer, and with the Excess 15, we’ve done it.”

Clean and quiet powerful propulsion

In a single engine configuration, the Deep Blue 50 SD delivers 50 kW of power with a maximum propeller speed of 1.325 rpm and 425 Nm of torque. In addition to the Deep Blue 50 SD, ZF and Torqeedo are also developing a more powerful Deep Blue 100 SD, aimed at manufacturers looking for custom integration. With a variety of power outputs and battery options available, the Deep Blue SD range of drives are ideally suited for different types of vessels besides catamarans, such as sailboats, city ferries and water taxis.

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