6.845,85 t
CO2 savings of
Torque Marine Systems

compared to conventional systems

Torque Marine IPS Innovative Propulsion Systeme GmbH & Co. KG

Torque Marine: Start-Up-Company on course with new propulsion system for ships

PRESS RELEASE | July 26th, 2010

Torque Marine: Start-Up-Company on course with new propulsion system for ships

Less Fuel, more safety – diesel-electric prototype has been tested on inland water way vessel „ENOK“.

Torque Marine IPS GmbH & Co. KG enters the market with a new propulsion technology for ships. Test trials on the river “Elbe” with the rebuilt and modernized „ENOK“ are finished. On August 18th, the partners Claus-D. Christophel (Hamburg) and Hans Helmut Schramm (Brunsbüttel) will present the prototype with diesel-electric Torque-Propulsion in Hamburg.

Glückstadt/Brunsbüttel/Hamburg – It´s nothing new with the idea of a diesel-electric propulsion system for a ship. In order to reduce fuel oil consumption and emissions, the “Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems” in Duisburg/ Germany has been working on this subject for years, by order of the German “Federal Environment Ministry”. Because the conventional diesel-electric drive does not fit the requirements regarding reduction of weight and space, new solutions had to be developed. „I just couldn´t stop thinking about this“, says Claus-D. Christophel. The solution is a completely new propulsion concept which can be totally tested on a test stand with all functions and can be approved by classification society before mounting on board. The Torque propulsion system consists of motor, gen-set, switchboard with converters, controls for wheelhouse and optionally of a „Zero Emission System“ (ZES).

Quite fast, a partner for the realisation of the revolutionary propulsion technology was found. Hans Helmut Schramm from Brunsbüttel and Claus-D. Christophel founded the „Torque Marine IPS Innovative Propulsion Systems GmbH & Co. KG”. An invest of three million Euros was put into the project – without public subsidies. The work of three years has been accompanied by experts from Duisburg and the technical university of Hamburg-Harburg. Rebuilding of the „ENOK“ with installation of the new technology on the Gebr. Friedrich yard in Kiel was supervised and coordinated by the engineering office NavConsult from Brunsbüttel.

Diesel-Engines from which power is transmitted to the propeller shaft via gearbox belong to the past. The start-up company fully concentrates on the Torque propulsion system, the sophisticated new direct drive system with GenSets and electronic converters. The big advantage: The two-shaft drive system can be powered with only one GenSet when sailing with low load. When more power is needed, other GenSets can be switched on stepless. This is done without the usual synchronization of the generators; the additional power is available within six seconds.

The results of the test trials have exceeded the expectations of the experts. To sail with only 20rpm on the propeller is not possible with a conventional propulsion system. “The concept is astonishing, even as a prototype“ says Dipl.-Ing. Hartmut Dobinsky who has been working for the „Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute“. Already before the official presentation, delegations from Sweden and Bangladesh have shown interest in the technology.

“The effectiveness of the new propulsion is beyond price” says Schramm. With two tug-boat new buildings for 6,5 million Euros, Schramm wants to show that the technology is also applicable on tugs. For Schramm, the new technology is profitable after three years when applied on highly powered vessels which need full power only for hours such as tugs.

The new technology is not only cost-effective, due to fuel saving up to 20% it is also relevant for climate protection, especially in respect to recently tightened standards regarding sulphur- and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Within five seconds, the captain can stop the propeller. “This is a totally new world” says Schramm. “Every second which we react faster creates more safety”. Rudi Koopmans, 64-years old former owner of the “ENOK” and sailing with the old diesel engines for 14 years, is now at the wheel as an employee agrees with this. “The manoeuvring of the vessel is much better; power is on the propeller without steps”.

Together with a partner, directors Claus-D. Christophel and Hans Helmut Schramm want to make the technology fit for global markets. From September on, a tendering procedure is planned in order to find an additional partner for the project. “During the time of research and development, we took the risk,” says Schramm. He expects up to 25 new jobs at Torque Marine shortly. On long term, the company has the potential to become one of the leading providers for diesel-electric propulsion technology on the global market.

According to Christophel, the possibilities of application of the technology with High Torque Power Drive on inland-waterway vessels with installed power from 250 up to 4500 HP are nearly unlimited. Additionally, the modular concept is also applicable for new energy sources. For new buildings, plans for a new hull design have been bought and further developed with engineering office Schlüter from Flensburg. Taking the “ENOK” as an example, it is shown that also old vessels can be refitted. Since all requirements regarding efficiency, noise levels and emissions are fulfilled, subsidies from German administration can be achieved for that.



Torque Marine IPS GmbH & Co. KG

Director Claus-D. Christophel

Georgswerder Bogen 7

21109 Hamburg

Mobile: + 49 172 415 90 20


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Torque Marine IPS

“Torque Marine IPS Innovative Propulsion Systems GmbH & Co. KG“ was founded in June 2008 and registered in Hamburg. The ambition of the company was the development of a diesel-electric propulsion system. Partners are Claus-D. Christophel (Hamburg) and Hans-Helmut Schramm (Brunsbüttel). Both are engaged in the maritime sector since years: Christophel has been director and owner of „CDC Mess- und Regelungstechnik GmbH“ until he sold the company to Wärtsilä in 2008. Schramm in owner and director of “Schramm group GmbH & Co. KG”, to which also belongs Brunsbüttel ports.