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Fully electric and emission-free: E-ships with battery-powered drive

Quiet and completely free of fine particulates: These are the main advantages of a fully electric or battery-run e-motor for ships and boats. The motors are run completely with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, without any diesel engines.

The advantages of the battery-powered ship solution from Baumüller lie, on the one hand, in the intelligent overall concept based on the company’s many years of experience in the ship propulsion sector and, on the other hand, in the highly efficient synchronous motors. The drive system thereby achieves a degree of efficiency of over 95%.

Baumüller is a partner for shipyards, system integrators and ship owners, as well as being an independent supplier of complete systems.

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Innovative electric ship drive as a complete solution

In collaboration with partners such as battery manufacturers, the system engineering experts from Baumüller create complete solutions for drive and automation systems and fit out ship drives using in-house torque motors, converters, and control units, among other devices. The Baumüller complete solution includes electric motors, scalable lithium-ion batteries with energy management systems, control cabinets, and thruster and propeller control units. The integrated automation systems, which are connected to all other subsystems via CAN bus and Ethercat, are used to control and monitor the fully electric drive and the auxiliary systems on board. The battery-powered drive system is supplemented by two diesel emergency units. These are legally prescribed safety drives that ensure maneuverability even when the battery is empty and are therefore designed redundantly.

Schematic diagram of fully electric ship propulsion

Schematic diagram of fully electric ship propulsion

Fully electric inland waterway transport for emission-free operations

The electrification of the MS Ceresio is part of an ambitious project for the electrification of shipping on the lakes of Ticino. The joint project of Baumüller and the Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano (SNL) pursues the goal of operating the entire SNL fleet fully electrically and emission-free by 2035. The conversion of the MS Ceresio, which was built in 1931 with a diesel engine, marked the start of the project, with further ships to follow.

For this purpose, Baumüller is supplying pioneering drive systems for the “Project 20-35”, thereby setting new standards for waterborne transport on Swiss lakes together with SNL.

Electrification of the MS Ceresio, built in 1931 with a diesel engine

MS Ceresio

Baumüller supplies innovative drive system: Since the completion of the retrofitting process, the MS Ceresio relies strictly on electrical drive technology in its day-to-day operations. Moreover, the ship can be fully charged in only 20 minutes. For this quick charging function, a 4 MW transformer was installed at the charging point.

Find out more about our customer project » here.


MN Ceresio: From diesel to fully electric

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Intelligent drive concept: Electric ferry with minimum weight and installation space

The first fully electric passenger ferry in Asia, Qi-Fu No. 1, operates with an efficient Baumüller drive. Baumüller uses the powerMELA drive concept in the ferry, which is a joint development with Sensor-Technik Wiedemann. This decentralized concept of an electric motor and integrated frequency inverter impresses with a compact design. The drive system thus requires minimum installation space and only weighs around 300 kg with the motor, inverter, and transmission. Thanks to its innovative direct cooling concept, the motor offers a very high power density and, due to its recuperation capability, i.e. the ability to recovery energy while braking, it meets all the requirements of an efficient system.


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Engineering, hardware, service – everything from a single source

In addition to drives, the Baumüller Group also offers project planning expertise, control units, service concepts, and more, and is thus a long-term partner throughout the life cycle of marine propulsion systems.

Our complete package with partners includes:

  • Actual state measurement
  • Design
  • Offer with funding request
  • Conversion at shipyard
  • Commissioning
  • Funding verification by institute

For marine equipment, functional reliability and the availability of components are indispensable. Baumüller service experts have extensive expertise in the maintenance, repair, and retrofitting of electrical drive systems in the maritime sector.

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Write us a message, our experts from the sales department will be happy to advise you.


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