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Port of Hamburg gains new electric motors

Posted on January 31, 2024

Ben Buchele Elektromotorenwerke GmbH has delivered two electric motors to Reintjes for installation on a hybrid dredger at the Port of Hamburg.

Reintjes, headquartered in Nürnberg, Germany, provides conventional and specialised motors for shipbuilders and other heavy-duty applications across the world.

The German firm specialises in marine gearboxes and powertrains. It was reportedly contracted to build a hybrid powertrain consisting of two diesel engines and two electric motors, allowing the ship to run with low emissions while near to port.

Reintjes requested a weight-optimised, water-cooled engine with 60 kilowatts (kW) of power, 200 frame size, rated speed of 2,130 revolutions per minute (rpm), inverter duty, and compatibility for S1 continuous operation, according to Ben Buchele.

Detlef Koslowsky, Head of Sales at Ben Buchele, said: “Special calibration is required to allow a hybrid system to easily switch between drive modes. One way to change from electric operation to diesel power is by using the control lever. Moving the lever by a small amount manoeuvres the ship using electric power. Once the lever reaches a set position, the diesel engine kicks in.

“However, a simple button is another method of switching between modes – and was the solution implemented for the Chicago [the hybrid dredger]. If the lever is in neutral, the captain can select electric mode by pressing the button and continue to steer the ship using the control lever. Drive modes can be changed at any time, even when the ship is in motion and the propeller is turning.”

The Chicago dredger, a twin-engine vessel with two propellers and two prop shafts, pushes silt in specific regions of the port for extraction by suction dredgers.

Koslowsky added: “Hybrid drivetrains combining conventional diesel engines and high-tech electric motors were once unusual. They offer genuine alternatives in the search for more sustainable drive solutions, as the shipping industry navigates the renewable transition.”

This month, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) appointed Roman Fürtig as its new Head of Port of Hamburg Marketing’s Representative Office Germany East.


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