ZF's Fully Electric Propulsion for Sailing Yachts
ZF expands its portfolio with a fully electric propulsion system can be combined with ZF’s Steerable Pod Propulsion system (SPP) and it is literally steering skippers into a cleaner, more sustainable future. The system will make docking not only intuitive and relaxed, but also emission and noise-free.
Since it generates no emissions, skippers can sail into harbors with environmental regulations which ban yachts with conventional drives. Since they make no noise, yachts can set off at any time in almost complete silence, so as not to disturb anybody. Since the speed of the motor is precisely controllable, it is designed to make docking safer in strong crosswinds or currents.
For this new electric propulsion system, ZF uses an electric motor with a maximum output of 125 kW instead of the usual diesel unit. The electric motor connects to the ZF Steerable Pod Propulsion system (SPP) where maneuverability is further improved thanks to smooth control of the electric motor with no clutches.
ZF is currently testing its electric propulsion system concept under real-life conditions. An innovation vessel equipped with the system has been cruising Lake Garda since September 2019. The prototype comes with a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery and achieves an average sustained speed of 7 knots (13 km/h) with a range of around 30 nautical miles (55.5 km). The battery pack is positioned at the stern and is provided with a cooling system for best performance.