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Sail Power: Liebherr Delivers World's Largest Slewing Drive Units

February 3, 2021

Liebherr advances into new dimensions with the world’s largest slewing drive units. Photo: Liebherr

As the maritime industry grapples with the technology and technique to meet increasingly strict emission mandates, eConowind is working to deliver an innovative wind sail system.

In step with the development, Liebherr delivered what is currently the largest worm-driven slewing drive units in the world for the sailing system by eConowind. 

Inspired by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, eConowind develops an innovative sailing system that is intended to revolutionize commercial shipping. Up to 40 meters high, futuristic metal sails serve as propulsion support for cargo ships. The world’s largest slewing drive units turn these huge sails. Using wind power in this way, it is estimated that fuel costs in shipping can be reduced by up to 20%.

Liebherr slewing drive units are self-contained systems consisting of a drive and a bearing unit. This makes the components particularly resistant to extreme environmental influences, such as salt water or dust. Special sealing systems and surface coatings also add to the high resistance of the large components and make them ideal for use at sea. The massive, worm-driven components from Liebherr measure 1.720 mm in diameter each and weigh together over 1.4 tonnes.

"With the delivery of the huge slewing drives, Liebherr does not only set a new record, but also makes a decisive contribution to more sustainable shipping and a low-emission world," concludes Benjamin Schmid, Key Account Manager Maritime Applications at Liebherr-Components AG.

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