Rolls-Royce and ZF cooperate on integrated pod propulsion systems for yachts

Posted on September 13, 2023

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  • New mtu ZF pod propulsion packages for series production yachts, ferries and crew transfer vessel in the power range up to 1,250 kilowatts
  • Integrated solution offers customers improved maneuverability with higher efficiency

Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY) Rolls-Royce is adding pod drives to its mtu yacht portfolio in cooperation with ZF.  

Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, explained:

“Our strategic goal is to offer our customers integrated, highly efficient solutions in the yacht market - from bridge to propeller. This includes our bridge solutions, automation and crew assistance systems, mtu engines, mtu hybrid systems, and now pod drives.”  

Rolls-Royce will showcase its bridge-to-propeller solutions at the Cannes Yachting Festival from 12 to 17 September 2023.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems and ZF are now expanding their long-standing partnership in marine propulsion systems to include pod propulsion packages in the power range up to 1,250 kilowatts (1,700 hp), and later also up to 1,470 kW (2,000 hp), based on mtu Series 2000 engines and ZF’s POD 4600.  

Denise Kurtulus said:

“We offer this integrated solution to provide a better yachting experience with easier maneuverability and space and efficiency gains. Propulsion efficiency can be increased by up to 15 percent with the mtu-ZF combined solution, significantly reducing the carbon footprint. Compared to conventional fixed propeller drives, the yacht's maneuverability can be significantly improved.”

Federico Decio, Head of Business Unit Marine & Special Driveline Technology at ZF, adds:  

“We know that shipbuilders around the world count on ZF to bring performance, efficiency, and reliability to a growing variety of vessels. And that’s exactly what we have achieved with the new ZF POD Propulsion 4600 System.”

The new systems will be offered for series-production yachts up to around 30 meters in length with a top speed of up to 32 knots, and for workboats such as crew transfer vessels. New projects are being developed in close cooperation between Rolls-Royce with its Italian-based Yacht Competence Center, ZF and yacht manufacturers. In the future, Rolls-Royce will supply the complete propulsion package to the customer.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce develops and delivers complex power and propulsion solutions for safety-critical applications in the air, at sea and on land. Our products and service packages enable our customers to connect people, societies, cultures and economies together; they meet the growing need for power generation across multiple industries; and enable governments to equip their armed forces with the power required to protect their citizens.
  2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers. To meet customer demand for more sustainable solutions, we are committed to making our products compatible with net zero carbon emissions.
  3. Annual underlying revenue was £12.69bn in 2022 and underlying operating profit was £652m.
  4. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69)
  5. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs more than 9,500 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for missioncritical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids and is intensively engaged in the development of climate-neutral solutions.


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