Adding a new category of fin stabilizers to its marine equipment range, SKF promises a quieter, more comfortable onboard experience, along with cost-saving and environmental advantages.
The electrically powered, non-retractable, SKF EFZ type fin stabilizers are designed for luxury yachts measuring 55 meters or longer. They feature a high-torque electric motor which meets the highly dynamic demands of stabilization, whether the vessel is at anchor (zero speed) or under way.
Christopher Schnäckel, Director Fin Stabilizer and Steering Gear, SKF, summarises the significance of this development. “While most fin stabilizers are operated electro-hydraulically, especially on larger yachts, the EFZ system has no hydraulic unit. As a result, its operation is virtually silent. It is also more compact, easier to install and has lower ongoing maintenance and related costs.”
The system takes up less space and has great flexibility for use with the onboard direct or alternating current electrics. Energy consumption is lower, as there are no wasteful conversions between electrical, hydraulic and mechanical devices, which is beneficial both economically and environmentally.
An advantage is that, unlike systems with hydraulic drives, EFZ fin stabilizers can be locked into any position even when switched off. This includes 0 degrees as well as the ideal hydrodynamic zero position.
The key components of an SKF EFZ fin stabilizer package are its motor, gear unit, fin shaft and mounting unit, together with the fin itself, in sizes ranging up to 12 square meters. A single-piece fin design optimises the performance of the stabilizer, both at zero speed and while the vessel is underway.
The 360-degree constant high torque electrical actuator offers unlimited working angles. Other features include a high-precision SKF bearing system and a VGP (Vessel General Permit) compliant sealing system, which guards against pollution.
EFZ packages come complete with user-friendly electronic control units, featuring a state-of-the art graphical user interface (GUI) and multi-touch screens, which can be fully integrated with each vessel’s existing automation platforms.
This latest product expands SKF’s wide portfolio of retractable and non-retractable fin stabilizers. Available in varying sizes, and with or without zero speed function, it is developed mainly for mega yachts.