Propelling the Transition: SCHOTTEL RudderPropeller for Offshore Wind

Schottel offshore propeller

Published Aug 30, 2022 11:13 AM by SCHOTTEL

With a new rudder propeller optimized for DP use, SCHOTTEL is meeting the growing requirements for W2W vessels to operate efficiently and reliably. The SRP-D (“Dynamic”) is a further improved variant for highly demanding DP operations in service operation vessels. When developing the SRP-D, extensive CFD simulations and calculations were taken into account. 

“With the SRP-D, we have significantly increased the DP performance of our rudder propellers, resulting in a product that meets the requirements of today’s offshore wind industry even better. Based on the proven principle of the SCHOTTEL RudderPropeller, a cost-efficient yet powerful solution has been developed that greatly improves the positional accuracy of the vessel for the special DP requirements of these applications. For customers, this means a significant increase in safety and possible operating times on offshore structures, especially in difficult weather conditions,” said Manfred Heer, VP Technology at SCHOTTEL.



Highly dynamic thrust allocation

The new SRP-D variants are characterized above all by reduced propeller acceleration/deceleration times. In combination with a high-speed azimuth steering system with reinforced gear components, the SRP-D enables faster thrust modulation than conventional rudder propellers. Thanks to the shorter response times, it is possible to react faster and in a more targeted manner to external forces from wind, weather and currents, thus achieving a higher positional accuracy of the vessel. At the same time, fuel consumption is reduced.

In addition, the SRP-D is marked by its extremely low profile, vertically integrated LE-Drive as well as an additional eight-degree tilt of the lower gearbox.

Mechanically more efficient: LE-Drive

Despite its integrated design, the LE-Drive allows a free choice of motor for vessels with electric, ideally battery-supported energy supply. Due to its compact design, the LE-Drive opens up more freedom in vessel design. The SRP-D is optionally also available with drive train in Z-configuration.

Hydrodynamically more efficient: 98-degree titled propeller shaft
Thanks to the lower gearbox that has an additional eight degrees downward tilt, the interaction between propulsion unit and hull as well as the propeller flow interaction are reduced. This results in increased thrust efficiency in DP operation and minimizes “forbidden zones”.

Greater comfort, reduced sound

In addition to the new rudder propeller variant SRP-D, SCHOTTEL also offers sound-optimized auxiliary propulsion solutions: the SCHOTTEL TransverseThruster with elastically mounted well installation guarantees greater comfort and reduces sound emissions by up to 11 dB. Moreover, it helps to reduce underwater noise. The particularly low-vibration design of the STT is suitable for vessels of all types and sizes, especially for service operation vessels that need to excel in maximum comfort and high DP accuracy.


Safe, reliable, clean

SCHOTTEL LeaCon is a seal monitoring system certified by DNV which offers safe and reliable protection against contamination of the seawater by operating materials. Separate seals to the seawater and to the gearbox side ensure that both incoming seawater and escaping gear oil are collected in an intermediate chamber. It is also used to monitor the condition of the seals. By this, operational wear can be detected at an early stage and unscheduled maintenance can be avoided. 

SCHOTTEL propulsion units equipped with the LeaCon sealing system comply with the VGP regulations of the US-American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Experienced in the offshore wind market 

In addition to recently delivered service operation vessels such as the Wind of Hope, the Bibby WaveMaster Horizon or the installation vessels Voltaire and Les Alizés which are currently being built for Jan De Nul, SCHOTTEL has many years of expertise in the offshore market. In total, over 600 offshore vessels have been equipped with the German propulsion systems.

Propulsion by experts

Around 100 engineers work hand in hand every day across various specialist departments to create reliable products that prove their performance in practice. Constant investments in research and development ensure that SCHOTTEL customers benefit from products of the highest standard.

After Sales Service by experts 

SCHOTTEL supports owners with individual services during the entire life cycle of the offshore wind vessel. In this way, maximum availability and efficiency of the vessel can be ensured. The broad service is specifically tailored to the equipment and offers the right support at any time – around the world, around the clock.

This article is sponsored by SCHOTTEL. Learn more about the company and its history here.


The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.