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Schottel Delivers Propulsion Units for World’s First Emission-Free Push Boat

The innovative Elektra push boat, ordered by Berlin harbour’s warehousing and logistics firm BEHALA and developed at the Department of Design and Operation of Maritime Systems at the Technical University of Berlin, will be equipped with rudder propellers from the German propulsion expert Schottel. The hybrid canal push boat is powered by a combination of fuel cells, batteries and an electric motor. The Elektra, which is currently under construction at the Hermann Barthel shipyard in Derben (Germany), will be the first emission-free push boat worldwide.

Model for electrical energy concepts
“Elektra shows what is possible. It demonstrates – not only as a push boat, but in particular as a model for electrical energy concepts for many maritime areas – that an energy turnaround is quite possible,” states Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Holbach, Project Manager at TU Berlin for the Department of Design and Operation of Maritime Systems.

New technologies on board
The 20m long and 8.2m wide canal push boat will be equipped with two Schottel Rudder propellers type SRP 100 with nozzle (200kW each) and a Schottel steering and control system. A minimum service speed of max. 10km/h is reached and a maximum thrust load of 1,400t is available.
The vessel will use the fuel cell technology for the basic energy supply of the power train and for the shipboard electrical system. At peak loads, additional energy is provided by the batteries. The hydrogen supplied to the fuel cell is generated via electrolysis from green electricity generated by wind power.

Emission-free from day one
It is planned that Elektra will first be tested in Berlin in 2020 and, starting in 2022, between Berlin and Hamburg as well. From 2025 onwards, the vessel is to travel in commercial operation between Berlin and Hamburg and to be used primarily for freight transport. From its very first day of testing in Berlin, Elektra will be completely emission and pollutant-free.