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Servogear developing hybrid solutions for the future


With their controllable pitch propeller system, Servogear has managed to cut emissions significantly. Now they are looking further into the future, developing hybrid solutions.


"The next step will be hybrid," said Petter Martens, Naval Architect, and Product Developer in Servogear, saying that the company is currently developing a hybrid version of its HD220 gearbox, named HDE220.

The company seeks to use electric bus engines, as they are lightweight and have proven technology that also works on ships.


Completed by the 1st quarter of 2018


"Because these engines have a high RPM, a gearbox is needed," Martens explains to Skipsrevyen.


The solution Servogear has on the drawing board involves input from two 150 kW electric motors, and a diesel engine of 900 kW.


"The goal is to be finished by the end of 2017 and ready to take on orders in the first quarter of 2018," he said.


About 80 high speed vessels are so far equipped with Servogear’s HD220 gearbox. The hybrid version will have identical dimensions, making it easy to switch from a conventional gearbox to a hybrid gearbox.


"There are several of our existing customers who have asked for a hybrid solution, so it's fun to develop a product that the customers are showing so much interest in. We have customers that are ready to test the hybrid gearbox on their vessels."


Commuters, tourists and wind technicians


Martens believes there are three separate segments that will benefit from a hybrid solution, these are fast ferries which must reduce emissions in city centers, offshore windfarms vessels and sightseeing boats.


Offshore windfarm vessels spend a large part of the day on what Martens calls idle driving, while they are waiting to transport technicians between posts. He thinks can be done electrically.


The same applies to the transportation of tourists.


"When you are on a sightseeing trip and enjoying the world's most beautiful view, it's a bit annoying with the surge of exhaust air and engine doors, so we believe there is a market for a hybrid solution," Martens points out.


Servogear is also working on a full-range electric solution, and is involved in the Urban Water Shuttle project, which is currently in the design phase.




This article was first published in Norwegian by Skipsrevyen, April 27th, 2017.

Text: Andrea Bærland