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What's Next: Hybrid Electric Marine Propulsion System Design

Hybrid Electric Marine Propulsion System:

Over the last five years in the marine industry, hybrid drive solutions have become an increasingly hot topic. With hybrid and electric propulsion systems in greater demand -- and in greater supply -- many shipyards have opted to investigate new and innovative projects using these cleaner technologies.

This past February, Palmer Johnson Power Systems announced its latest news: that we’d be adding Transfluid to our product offerings. When we hit the market with this announcement, I must admit, I was very excited. For more than 60 years, Transfluid has been central to innovation to the industrial world. With Palmer Johnson becoming a distribution and service center for Transfluid, our team -- and our customers -- now have access to these products, engineering expertise and innovation. This includes their unique modular hybrid drive system.

Before adding Transfluid, we had investigated and participated in some hybrid electric marine conversions, looking for value added product offerings in this space. Our first step in that direction was in 2009/2010 working with Twin Disc on a Ferry Boat conversion in conjunction with Hornblower Port Engineers on two vessels for Alcatraz Cruises. This hybrid electric technology utilized a Twin Disc clutch-less marine gear (MG-5204SC) behind electric motors plus Centa couplings and Twin Disc EC-300 controls. The boat repurposed its older engines, converting them into generators. At the same time, they launched a self-designed PLC and battery system that put two U.S. Coast Guard-approved hybrid boats into operation in the San Francisco Bay Area. It wasn’t an easy task, but it was an amazing experience for Palmer Johnson to be part of. Now, these boats have been in operation for several years -- and they continue to perform at their peak.

Integrating hybrid electric marine technology provides yet another innovative offering in the Palmer Johnson Marine arsenal. Our team can now assist in this seismic shift in the industry -- a new direction the U.S. marine industry is starting to move in.

Transfluid Hybrid Drive

Considering a hybrid electric ship propulsion solution option? Here’s what to think about:

· The Transfluid Hybrid Drive is a “true” parallel hybrid capable of operating in diesel or electric mode.

· The Transfluid Hybrid Drive is capable of running in diesel, electric or “boost” mode which enables the simultaneous use of both the diesel and electric motor.

· These hybrid systems can be easily customized to select the best solution for the specific application.

· All solutions are the result of thorough testing and engineered design analysis allowing boat owners to optimize the power performance and efficiency of the system

· Transfluid has helped design hybrid systems for more than 20 boats with different solutions and have many other projects in progress

· Transfluid-proposed hybrid electric systems offer an easy integration with an on-board power system; this allows the boat owner to review the electricity balance for on-board services, and optimize the use of batteries to replace part of on-board generators.

· The Transfluid Modular Hybrid System is a complete system solution with batteries, control system, cables, motors and modules to work in conjunction with your existing diesel engine and marine transmission.

If you’re ready to discuss a new project or, even a design concept, get in touch with our Marine Team. We’re standing by to provide a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness and validity for any proposed hybrid electric propulsion system. While Transfluid considers these “plug and play” options, we all know nothing's that simple -- but these systems do install and integrate into the overall boat electric system and include all components that interact with the propulsion system.

Contact us today for more information and let our Palmer Johnson Marine Experts show you how a Transfluid Hybrid Drive System could work in your next marine propulsion application.

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