Hybrid Propulsion


W-PROP power control by Werkina Werkendam

Regardless of which propulsion is best suited for a voyage, it will always be a custom solution. At Werkina, we are convinced that hybrid technology is a uniquely efficient solution for short, fixed routes. W-PROP Power Management serves as a versatile backbone that smoothly integrates every type of generator in the power train, without further issue.


Electric propulsion

An electric propulsion system can yield substantial fuel savings in comparison with conventional diesel technology. How can this be? The biggest savings can be achieved when a ship sails downstream. In that case a big diesel engine will produce little power and perform inefficiently. Clean electric PM machines with a comparable capacity do this much more efficiently. They are in turn driven by three or more small PM generators. Only one generator has to run at optimal capacity when moving downstream in order to keep your vessel at speed. As soon as more power is required, the other generators are started up and you can immediately have the HPs available you are used to.



The W-PROP system generates a lot of data that can be read in the wheelhouse, such as consumption, power, operating hours, breakdowns, etc. The main office can also have all these data available in real time if so desired. The bow thruster, stern thruster and loading pumps can be controlled in the same system, for example, and the integration of a cruise control is an option as well.



Maintenance of relatively small generators is smaller-scale, easier and cheaper than that of a conventional diesel engine. For example, the high-output PM generators can be exchanged with any brand and the ship can simply continue sailing even if one of them breaks down. It is also possible to make a separation in the DC-GRID to create independent electric systems. This prevents a breakdown in one system from stopping the other. Thus you save a lot of money in cost and downtime.


W-PROP only uses high-quality components and technology, aimed at sustainability. For example, the electronics are fluid-cooled instead of air-cooled as this is susceptible to breakdown and releases heat. The relatively simple electromagnetic principles that underlie W-PROP technology make the system less prone to faults than existing AC systems. This results in more reliability, less maintenance and lower cost. In addition, the investment in an electric drive with W-PROP is significantly less than in conventional systems!

Emission standards

New emission standards will go into effect in the next few years, so that governments and sector organisations will examine emissions in inland navigation more critically. Fiscal measures for environmental investments will continue to exist to stimulate cleaner technology, and they will be supplemented by subsidy schemes in the framework of the Environment and Technology Programme (ProMT) and the European LIFE programme. The Ministry for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment also wants to simplify the administrative and implementation cost of the schemes. W-PROP is taking a big technological step that can count on the support of various stimulation programmes.