(ref.: 2020/563117, 2021/584141)

Supported by a grant from Norway through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, in the frame of the Programme “Business Development and Innovation Croatia”.

Applicant:                NOVAMINA – Innovative Technology Center, Ltd., Zagreb

Partner:                    Iskra Shipyard 1 LLC., Šibenik

Project summary

BlueDrive is an R&D project dedicated to development of a hybrid marine propulsion, a variable speed power split propulsion through separate and simultaneous use of mechanical and electrical power by variable kinematics conditions of the drives. It results in lower CO2 emissions, lower fuel consumption, lower investment, increased safety.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed in 2018, to cut total GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50 % by 2050 (compared to 2008. To achieve those goals marine industry search for ways to design and operate marine vessels that reduce emissions and generate less CO2. An energy-efficient ship and primarily an efficient propulsion that reduces fuel consumption, harmful emissions into the environment, reduces cost and time of maintenance while extending the life of the equipment is the goal for the governments, ship owners, operators and the whole marine industry. The situation has propelled the implementation of a Hybrid Propulsion Systems on a large scale. It offers reductions in fuel consumptions, lower maintenance costs and emissions for today’s marine industry. Currently, diesel-electric, serial propulsion systems dominate the targeted market. The main limitation of diesel-electric, serial configuration is that the power of all propulsion machines (diesel engines – generators – propulsion electric motors,) as well as electronic power converters, must be at least equal to the continuous rated propulsion power. This increases the investment and operational cost, minimizes possible fuel savings and requires additional space.

BlueDrive hybrid marine propulsion technology represents a variable speed power split

propulsion system that combines the best features of mechanical and electrical drives, primarily through the possibility of separate and simultaneous use of mechanical and electrical power by variable kinematics conditions of the drives. Key advantages of BlueDrive propulsion compared to conventional and diesel electric propulsion:

  • Lower total emissions of harmful gases and CO2
  • Less fuel consumption (up to 25 %)
  • Lower initial investment (up to 20 %) and operating costs
  • Increased Safety at sea and navigational comfort

BlueDrive exhibits a significant improvement of power management, thrust availability and propulsive efficiency compared to conventional and diesel electric arrangements when operating in design and of design regimes. The key final achievements to date are following:

  • BlueDrive developed with all detailed design documentation for full scale prototype
  • Full scale prototype motor/generators whit power converters and drive controls built and demonstrated
  • Power management and control system developed, implemented and demonstrated

As a premise for rapid and successful commercialization of BlueDrive technology, it is of crucial importance to invest some additional resources in joint development efforts between partners NOVAMINA d.o.o. and Iskra Shipyard to demonstrate the Bluedrive technology in real conditions of operation. Upon the necessary additional development and demonstration of the BlueDrive in real working conditions, this project will produce a state-of-the-art eco-tech highly competitive offering for the global market.

Timespan:                01.09.2021. – 31.08.2023.

Total budget:           € 1,085,961

Grant approved:     € 563,000

Contact information:        Davor Linarić, project coordinator


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