Tunnel Thrusters – Hydraulic Pod Motor Driven

Thrustmaster hydraulic tunnel thrusters consist of a high thrust fixed pitch propeller on a husky propeller shaft directly coupled to Thrustmaster’s exclusive podded hydraulic motor providing infinite propeller speed control in both directions of rotation. They come as complete units installed in a section of steel tunnel. They are available in tunnel diameters from16 to 84 inches covering a power range from 30 to 2000HP. Thrusters from 16 to 36 inches are also available in aluminum. For detailed specifications, please ask for our Technical Specifications.

Thrustmaster hydraulic tunnel thrusters are simple, quiet, efficient and extremely smooth while exhibiting all the benefits of the ideal tunnel
thruster.

Precise Control when you need it most

The variable-flow hydrostatic drive system allows for infinite propeller speed control in port and starboard direction. Whether in manual mode or DP mode, hydraulic thrusters allow perfect vessel station-keeping and instant thrust response. Full thrust can be reversed within 3 to 5 seconds. This instantaneous and fully proportional speed control gives performance superior to a controllable pitch propeller (CPP) without the cost, complexity, fragility or maintenance problems of the intricate CPP control system with all its drive shafts, levers and feedback mechanisms.

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Simple, Efficient & Reliable

The prime mover drives a hydraulic pump. The propeller is driven by a hydraulic motor. In between are fluid conductors. There are no drive shafts, gears, bearings, or other mechanical components to fail. The hydraulics are virtually maintenance free and provide many years of reliable operation while performing in the harshest marine environments, as long as the hydraulic fluid is kept in clean and cool condition. Many Thrustmaster tunnel thrusters have been in continuous commercial use for more than 20 years, providing flawless operation without any component failures.

Highly Resistant to Damage

The hydraulic drive is extremely resistant to damage. Foreign objects ingested by the tunnel will not damage the hydraulic drive train, as the hydraulic system instantly relieves any transmission overloads.

Flexible & Convenient Installation

The prime mover doesn’t need to be located next to the thruster like traditional tunnel thrusters, but can be placed anywhere in the vessel. This allows for optimization of weight distribution. The thruster room is reduced to a simple void space; it is not a machinery space. There are no shafts or couplings to align or requirements for additional ventilation, lighting or floor gratings. The hydraulic pump prime mover is a non-reversible electric motor or a diesel engine running at a constant speed as the hydraulic transmission controls propeller speed and direction of rotation.

Tunnel Thruster Remote Controls

The bridge panel features Joystick Control and a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel that conforms to a variety of programmed features.

A built-in Electrical Control Unit (ECU) provides proportional thrust control from zero to full rpm in both the port and starboard direction.

The joystick is friction held style. The basic control panel includes brightness and contrast adjustments, emergency stop button, audible alarm buzzer, and alarm indicators.

The LCD also provides visual control transfer protocol between bridge control panels (when using multi-ple remote panels), plus;

  • logic for interpreting the VFD status and its control (when using a VFD)
  • logic and input/output (I/O) for DP system command and feedback (if DP interface option is included)
  • logic for the thruster status and control (digital and analog I/O signaling)
  • motor and VFD alarms and fault status information

Thrust control is proportional to the angle of the joystick lever which is friction held with a center detent for neutral position. The digital readout displays alarms and system status and shows directional feed-back in the form of a directional indicator. Panels are drop-in style with positive twist-lock connections in back.

Smooth and Forgiving Hydraulic Drive

Thrustmaster of Texas, Inc., pioneered the concept of hydraulic propulsion for the marine industry using technology originally employed in the offshore oil fields. Thrustmaster's hydraulic bow and stern thrusters are the benchmark for efficient and reliable maneuvering under severe marine conditions.

The hydraulic drive is extremely resistant to damage. Foreign objects ingested by the tunnel, (a disastrous event with a mechanically-driven bow thruster) will not damage the hydraulic drive train, as the hydraulic system instantly relieves any transmission overloads.

The variable-flow hydrostatic drive system allows for infinite propeller speed control in port and starboard direction. This allows perfect vessel station-keeping as well as instant thrust response. Full thrust can be reversed within three to five seconds. This instantaneous and fully proportional speed control gives performance better than a controllable pitch propeller (CPP) without the cost, complexity, fragility or maintenance problems of the intricate CPP control system with all its drive shafts, levers and feedback mechanisms.

Thrustmaster hydraulic tunnel thrusters require no routine maintenance, and rebuilds are recommended only once every 40,000 hours of operation.

Efficient and Reliable

Thrustmaster's hydraulic drive is simple, quiet, efficient and extremely smooth. The prime mover driving the hydraulic pump can be a non-reversible electric motor or an engine running at constant speed because the hydraulic transmission controls propeller speed and direction of rotation. The prime mover drives a hydraulic pump. The propeller is driven by a hydraulic motor. In between are fluid conductors. There are no drive shafts, gears, bearings or other mechanical components to fail. The hydraulics are virtually maintenance free and provide years of reliable operation while performing in the harshest marine environments.

Many Thrustmaster tunnel thrusters have been in continuous commercial use for more than 20 years, providing flawless operation without any component failures.

There are very few rotating parts. The simple design of the direct hydraulic drive, without right angle gear transmission or drive shaft, provides for extreme reliability and very easy maintenance. There is no scheduled maintenance to the tunnel thruster other than normal maintenance to the hydraulic system and prime mover. Because all bearings are lubricated by the hydraulic fluid, there are no grease points or oil levels to check. The hydraulic transmission separates and dampens engine and propeller vibrations.

Tunnel Thrusters

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