Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Electric Pilot Boat: Environmentally Friendly and Safe


One of the world's most advanced pilot boats contains a hybrid drive from Siemens. Called the Explorer, the vessel is a SWASH (Small Waterplane Area Single Hull) vessel with a torpedo-shaped float located centrally underneath the hull. The boat's propulsion system is also located in this tube.

The vessel remains stable in the water even in rough seas and is relatively light, thus reducing fuel consumption. The hull contains a flexible and compact EcoProp Hybrid system, which ensures efficient and environmentally compatible operation in both the diesel and the electric mode.

The hybrid drive system is economical in all operational profiles. The diesel engine is used to propel the boat. Surplus energy can be used by a generator to supply the vessel with electricity. The boat is currently being tested on the Elbe River.

The Explorer is a further development of SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) craft, which have two torpedo-shaped floats underneath the water. These kinds of vessels are less susceptible to wind and waves than other designs so that pilots can safely go from the boat to the ship they have to direct even in rough seas. In the Explorer, the two lateral floats are replaced by a single tube in the middle.

The boat has two outriggers at the sides to keep it stable. The new design makes the vessel lighter and more agile. Good maneuverability is important because the pilot boat and the ship to be directed have to maintain their relative positions when the pilot is transferring between the two. The speeds can be fairly high, and the large container ships on the Elbe River travel at eight or more knots, for example.

The Explorer's EcoProp Hybrid propulsion system is based on the ELFA drive system that was originally developed for buses. At the heart of the system is an electrical machine that can serve either as a motor or a generator.

When the boat is being propelled by the diesel engine, the latter also supplies energy to the generator. If electric operation is selected, the propeller is instead driven by the electric motor. In this mode, the boat can attain one third of its top speed of 17 knots (approximately 31 kilometers per hour).

The boat's ability to travel a longer distance solely on electricity is important for a number of reasons, including the fact that the centrally located float only contains a single diesel engine. However, some applications require a second propulsion system to be on board for safety reasons. In the Explorer, this role is performed by the electric motor.

ELFA hybrid drives power urban buses in cities all over the world, including London, Munich, and Hanoi. Siemens adapted the components to the special conditions found on the high seas so that the system would be suitable for maritime use and to obtain certification from Germanischer Lloyd SE.

Press Pictures:

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Further information:

Further reports about: Boat Elbe Electric Environmentally Explorer River Siemens electricity energy float maintain waves

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light
26.11.2015 | Stanford University

nachricht Get to the point with electric cars
26.11.2015 | Universität Stuttgart

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Using sphere packing models to explain the structure of forests

26.11.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Dimensionality transition in a newly created material

26.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

Revealing glacier flow with animated satellite images

26.11.2015 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>