Southern Power welcomes Rim Drive Technology as its new OEM Partner

Steerable Pod 11.0 Tunnel Set 3.0 Left Rotated Outboard 11.0 Front Pod 11.0 And 15.0 Standard Bow Thruster 11.0 Front Bow Thruster Box 11.0 Left Rotated

On a recent exploratory trip to the Netherlands, Southern Power CEO Jacques Brümmer visited Rim Drive Technology (RDT) – and consolidated ties with the latest forward-thinking Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) whose vision for a sustainable maritime industry aligns with that of Southern Power.

RDT’s purpose is to help as many people and companies as possible with their transition to electric boating. With its manufacturing facilities located in the Netherlands, RDT actively contributes to a more sustainable world and to global Sustainability Delivery Goals, by developing innovative solutions for environmental challenges (the company also compensates for all CO2 emissions from its own buildings, via monthly donations to Treesforall, which enables companies like RDT to plant trees in one of their certified projects).

From 2016 to 2018, RDT engaged intensively with existing rim drive motor technology, identifying gaps in the current solutions on offer. In 2019 it officially founded Rim Drive Technology, with a quest to engineer and perform endurance test runs with next-level rim drive motors. As it continued to expand its developments with rim drive applications and system solutions, RDT began signing worldwide distribution agreements from 2022.

The unique nature of a rim-driven motor is that it derives propulsion from a propeller whose blades are mounted on an outer ring, rather than on the conventional central shaft. This ring sits in turn within a surrounding stator, which creates the necessary torque to deliver propulsion. This is a completely different propulsion solution to what most boaters are used to.  

The key advantages to such a motor are its lower noise emissions and a compact design that enables relatively simple integration in many applications. Have a look at the video below to see what goes into RDT’s beautifully simple – and unique-looking motors.

What makes these rim drive motors so popular in sailing applications is that they are 100% electric and therefore completely silent, with no vibrations and, of course, no emissions. Other advantages are that the motors deliver a more immediate acceleration response than conventional motors. With the propeller safely housed within an outer ring, there is also less chance of ropes or fishing nets getting caught up in the blades, than with a traditional propshaft set-up. Finally, with there being only one rotating part to the motor, the amount of maintenance is reduced overall.

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RDT rim drive motors are currently deployed in the maritime industry in three ways:

  • Leisure market 54% Sailboats, sloops, kayaks and dinghies
  • Survey and industry 32% Research vessels, including unmanned
  • Subsea 14%: Submarines and ROVs

RDT motors are currently available across four key configurations

POD – the better alternative to an inboard motor

With available power (kW) from 0.5 to 11.0, at nominal voltage of 24 or 48V, these engines deliver the most efficient propulsion solution for medium-speed applications.

Steerable POD – the next evolution in boat control

With available power (kW) from 3.0 to 15.0 and steering functionality available from a joystick, steering wheel or CAN (digital), these motors deliver “zero turn” maneuverability, for unparalleled operational capability in tight spaces or choppy, challenging water conditions.

Outboard – the strongest solution for heavyweight and medium speed applications

With available power (kW) from 3.0 to 15.0, these motors can produce high torque, a valued feature for owners of heavier boats. They encompass a convenient motor controller in the top cover, and provide a complete trim and tilt functionality for precise maneuvering and effortless control. 

Bow thruster – the best solution for continuous running times

With available power (kW) from 0.5 to 11.0, these motors are the quietest bow thrusters on the market. Being extremely compact, they can also be fitted as a stern thruster.

All of the above can be powered by RDT’s lightweight, high-energy-density batteries, which are maintenance free see the options here. Because of their compact size, RDT’s electric motors allow for the storage of more batteries, meaning that eight-hours’ run time capability can be easily achieved.

Side + Sir Beach

Southern Power is now the proud distributor of RDT motors, batteries and accessories in the southern African region. This partnership will enable Southern Power to help the local maritime industry move the needle further towards full sustainability – the ultimate goal. 

Find out more about Rim Drive technology’s solutions here and contact Southern Power to equip your vessel with the latest innovation in electric propulsion: email or call 021 511 0653 / 021 510 3049.