Maritime CEOTech

ZF Marine: Championing hybrid technology

Singapore: Shipyards, while remaining generally cautious to new technologies, are increasingly embracing hybrid propulsion systems, a trend that is set to continue, according to a senior executive from ZF Marine.

Joseph McCorry is a board member at ZF Marine, part of ZF Group, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with 121 production companies in 26 countries. ZF Marine supplies marine propulsion units for all types of vessels – motor yachts, sail boats, patrol boats, defense craft, ferries, offshore supply vessels, tugs, tankers, container ships in a power range from 10 to 14,000 kW – to customers including major shipyards and engine manufacturers worldwide.

“The majority of the shipyards have adopted a wait-and-see approach when it comes to embracing and experimenting with innovations and new technologies, in view of the cautious outlook on the global maritime industry,” McCorry relates.

“One of the bright spots we have identified,” he says, “would be increased familiarity and interest in hybrid propulsion technologies. We are seeing more requests for parallel hybrid systems and we believe that this trend is set to continue as it enables shipowners to select electrical propulsion units individually which translates to cost savings.”

ZF Marine continues to invest heavily in R&D in hybrid technology. Further improvements in marine technology, in the area of hybrid solutions, are necessary in order to reach a broader client base, McCorry says.

These include:

– The education of naval architects (and shipyards) about the intricacies, benefits and possibilities of hybrid solutions;
– The capacity of batteries and the further development of battery technology in general (weight, efficiency, size, etc.);
– Wider availability of standard electric components;
– Widespread knowledge concerning the service and maintenance of such systems in maintenance and refit yards; and
– More stringent legal regulations coming into force, with stricter emission standards implemented throughout significant ports worldwide.


Looking ahead, McCorry is adamant that ZF Marine’s future lies increasingly in Asia, especially China and the company has been staffing up noticeably in the region of late. [18/12/13]

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