The sails convert wind power into direct propulsion. In this way, they can support conventional propulsion on the ship and reduce fuel costs by up to 30% without losing speed.

Benjamin Schmid, Key Account Manager Maritim at Liebherr-Components AG

Full component power ahead

Liebherr offers a complete solution that includes all the essential components for wind-assisted propulsion: slewing bearings, slewing drives and hydraulic cylinders. When developing these components, Liebherr leverages decades of experience in offshore crane production and expertise in the field of offshore wind turbines and blade bearings. The approach to calculating the forces on the high seas can be derived from this technology. Based on this, Liebherr has developed its own tool to enhance its understanding of green technology. This tool enables the optimal design of the components responsible for turning the sails into/to the wind.

Close-up of ship with electric adjustment system and hydraulic cylinder

The wind of change

The overall design of wind-assisted propulsion consists of futuristic-looking, high sails that rise into the wind and complement the ship's conventional propulsion - the diesel engine. In this way, the technology harnesses the power of the wind to propel a wide range of vessels, such as bulkers or car carriers, and ensures higher energy efficiency.

Close-up of ship's electric adjustment system and hydraulic cylinders

A perfect match

All drives are developed by Liebherr and ensure the rotation of the sails. The tilting and folding of the sail mast, as well as the adjustment of the sails, is done by our own corrosion-resistant folding and tilting cylinders.

Want to learn more about our complete solution, which includes all the essential components for a wind-assisted propulsion system?

Offshore certified hydraulic cylinders

The folding and tilting cylinders are certified according to DNV-ST-0194, edition October 2019.

Two tilting cylinders for ship cranes
An electric adjustment system from Liebherr

Time to get things moving

Liebherr's electrically or hydraulically driven system optimally harnesses the power of the wind. As a pre-assembled module, the components underneath the sail ensure it's in the right position. The electric adjustment system includes slewing bearings, slewing drives, an electric motor and lubrication system, along with position detection and monitoring.

Our specially designed tilting cylinders eliminate the risk of load sway, especially in extreme weather conditions. Proportionally controlled overcentre valves are directly connected to the cylinder and ensure a controlled mast movement. Folding the sail up and down is managed by Liebherr's folding cylinders, allowing for sail adjustments to match the wind conditions.

Want to be part of the movement for more sustainable shipping?

To further enhance the climate protection potential of wind-assisted propulsion on transport ships, Liebherr has intelligently connected the individual components. Additionally, the CO2 emissions during production are calculated to identify areas where resource conservation can be improved.

Michael Martin Heinz, Team Lead Technical Sales at Liebherr-Components Kirchdorf GmbH

Maritime applications

Components from Liebherr prove themselves near coastlines, as well as under extreme conditions on the high seas.

More about maritime applications

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