ZF AT 80 Thruster

This time we focus on the propulsion solutions provided by ZF (Zahnradfabrik Friederichshafen), and more specifically at their ZF AT 80.

We asked our Sander Snoek to tell us about the details and advantages, and below what Sander had to say about this of this clever propulsion unit.

The ZF AT 80 is a modern and robust thruster that is available in 3 different versions.

A 360 degree rotating rudder propeller version, a retractable version and a bow or stern tunnel propeller version. The units can be driven by a diesel or an electric motor, or a combination of the above as hybrid drive.

In case an electric motor is chosen, a vertical drive option is available, the so called L drive.

Main advantage of the L drive is that the upper reduction section and overrun clutch are no longer required, which translates itself in a much better overall efficiency compared to a Z drive.


Most important advantages?

With the ZF AT 80 series we have a new generation environmentally responsible, powerful and efficient propulsion solutions that can be fitted with the ProVID condition monitoring system.

Naval architects, Shipyards, and ship owners alike can enjoy the confidence these high grade propulsion systems provide thanks to the well-known ZF qualities they have to offer.

During the development of the ZF AT 80 series, ZF has refined the thruster design even further.

The optimized hydrodynamic design of the underwater housing reduces both resistance and cavitation which results in an increased overall efficiency of the propulsion system.

The design optimalization also reduced the installation volume required inside the hull, something that will be appreciated by the yard.

System efficiency is also increased by reducing the oil level inside the transmission, which translates in lower CO2 emissions. Leakages can be detected in an early stage thanks to the double chamber sealing system. This system prevents the leakage of mineral oil outside the vessel, and the entry of water in the underwater housing. Doing so the system complies with present and future environmental legislation.

The user-friendly ThrusterCommand control system forms an integral part of the ZF propulsion solution. It offers a variable speed control of the propeller offering the skipper the option of different propeller speeds at a given engine speed all the way down to tick over speed.

This allows finite control over the amount of thrust, making sure the thrust delivered exactly matches the requirements for the job at hand. This feature will specially be appreciated during delicate tasks such as towing small vessels, tight manoeuvring in harbours or low speed measuring and monitoring jobs.

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