Transfluid’s HM3350 powers the Western Flyer

Building on their strong history providing hybrid and electric propulsion for marine applications, Transfluid was selected as the hybrid system supplier for the Western Flyer renovation project. Built in 1937 in Tacoma WA, the Flyer has a storied history but is most well known as the boat chartered by John Steinbeck in his 1940 expedition to the Gulf of California chronicled in The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Called “the most famous research vessel to ever have sailed”, the Flyer is a 77ft wooden fishing vessel being restored in Port Townsend WA by the Western Flyer Foundation.

The boat is being recommissioned as a fishing vessel, and a showpiece for green technology. Powering the Flyer is a 425HP John Deere diesel onto which is mounted the HM3350 hybrid module. For the electric propulsion, twin 100HP electric machines will allow the Flyer to reach hull speed in electric mode and perform standby operations completely silent. This is extremely valuable when collecting data onsite.

Additionally, the HM3350 features 3 additional PTO heads which will drive the steering pump as well as a clutchable pump to operate the research equipment. Head extensions for the PTO heads allow for a seamless integration with the Tier 4 diesel and marine gear. Transfluid has provided the propulsion control, CANBUS communication system, and all components to make the complete hybrid supply. The operator is able to switch on the fly from diesel to electric mode with the press of a button, and engage or disengage the hydraulics from the control bridge.

For energy storage, 115kWh of lithium iron phosphate batteries provide autonomy in electric mode and power the house systems. The boat is able to charge while underway in diesel mode using the power of the engine, or while docked using shore power. The Western Flyer will be launching on its maiden voyage as a hybrid vessel in the last quarter of 2023.

About Transfluid

Driven by 65 years of industrial transmission manufacturing experience, backed by 5 subsidiaries and more than 50 distributors worldwide Transfluid has always been a point of reference in the world of industrial transmission equipment.



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