Today, modern passenger ships are already using diesel-electric drive systems. But hybridization can also be used in yachts and in commercial ships with diesel engines up to 1000 kW and electric motors up to 200 kW. Here, diesel generators produce electricity and one or more electric motors power the propeller or – in multiple-shaft configurations – propellers. The use of electric motors enables the speed of the combustion engine to be shifted, for continuous ship operation at the optimum point and consequently lower fuel consumption.
Particularly in ports or port cities, ship emissions have become a serious problem. The use of integrated electric drive systems permits precise maneuvering in port – while enabling compliance with the upcoming stricter harbor emission regulations when entering and leaving port.
At moderate travel speeds, dual-machine systems, for example, can exploit a further advantage of hybrid drives, as one of the two combustion engines can be switched off to improve consumption and emission performance, while the propulsion system is supplied purely electrically from the parallel machine. This function also provides vital redundancy for emergencies.