Hybrid VS Diesel-Electric Propulsion Systems: What’s The Difference?

The marine propulsion system is a vital part of a boat. Regardless of their size or purpose, almost all boats require a marine propulsion system to operate and manoeuvre on the water. Since the invention of the first boat, new marine propulsion systems have been developed, and they continue to evolve into better systems that benefit both boat operators and the environment.

There are at least ten different types of marine propulsion systems in the world, with some being more environmentally friendly than others. Hybrid and diesel-electric marine propulsion systems are two rising stars in the industry due to marine electrification. What are they about and what are their differences? Read on to find out more.

What is Diesel-Electric Marine Propulsion System?

The diesel-electric marine propulsion system has been in use since the early 1900s, with generators serving as key components. The diesel-electric drive generates energy via internal combustion engines, which is then converted into electrical currents that power the electric thrusters on boats. They are essentially their own power station, generating energy for all operational needs.

System & Fuel Efficiency

The diesel-electric drive consists of a power management system (PMS) that can be used to improve the efficiency of the propulsion systems while lowering fuel consumption levels. The PMS controls the gen-sets in the diesel-electric marine propulsion system automatically and selects the number of gen-sets to run based on load demand. This ensures that the diesel-electric drive isn’t running excessively.

What is Hybrid Marine Propulsion System?

Hybrid marine propulsion systems consist of two or more sources of propulsion in their design. Typically, hybrid marine propulsion systems feature a diesel engine and batteries for propulsion. However, they can also be equipped with other green power sources such as solar-powered propulsion, unlike diesel-electric drives which are only equipped with diesel gen-sets.

Increased System & Fuel Efficiency

The hybrid marine propulsion system, like the diesel-electric drive, optimises the amount of power required to operate the boat. It also has an energy storage system that can be recharged using either power source. When compared to diesel-electric marine propulsion systems, the hybrid system can increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption even further.

In addition, hybrid marine propulsion systems reduce noise and increase comfort on board.

The use of hybrid power sources on your boats allows you to use the most efficient energy source for specific tasks while wasting no fuel or energy. Whether you prefer a diesel-electric drive or a hybrid marine propulsion system, both include electrical power sources that can provide you with a slew of advantages ranging from greener operations to lower maintenance costs.

Not sure which propulsion system is more suitable for your boat? Contact us today to learn more about electric thrusters and a more sustainable and eco-friendly propulsion solution.