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.::The Silvercrest Submarines 11.5Kw Thruster System::.


The Silvercrest Thruster is designed for tourist submarines, and remote operated vehicles (Rovs).

The Silvercrest Submarines 11.5Kw Thruster SystemHistorically, over the last 15 years electrical submarine thruster systems have been problematic. Notably AC motor controllers & DC brush motor powered thrusters have been the cause of many a company’s downfall. Other problems such as 120VDC battery buss voltages have compounded the problem.
Since the early Tourist Submarines came into use in the mid 80’s, motor controller technology has steadily developed. Certain manufacturers have produced systems which have proven to be more capable & more importantly, reliable than their early counterparts. Unfortunately, this leaves quite a few of the older Tourist & Research submersibles struggling with the older more unreliable systems still in use.

A not well-known fact is that all of these motor drive systems have a finite operating life; indeed they have a ‘shelf life’. This is due to the deterioration of the large capacitors used in the drive controllers. This occurs even when the drive is not in use. If a drive is more than five years old, then it’s capacitors are already approaching the end of their useful life. As a result, these drives are now becoming tired & prone to failure. Usually with accompanying pyrotechnics!

Silvercrest Submarines have developed a new ‘replacement’ propulsion system for both new build & existing submarines. We tailor the installation to solve your propulsion problem. We will visit you on-site to assess your installation & determine the best route forward to solve your problems.

Once the problems have been identified & assessed, where needed we re-design your battery buss arrangement to produce a working voltage suitable to run a reliable & powerful thruster system. Then we design the motors specifically to meet your requirements. The compensation system is added & the final stage of the design process is matching the correct drive with your new motors.

We have recently completed the installation of our 69kW (6 x 11.5kW) AC propulsion and ballast system into one of the ‘Odyssey’ class Tourist Submarines. The system utilizes a state of the art, purpose built 11.5kW thruster / ballast pump motor. A custom built submersible, 3 phase, AC, squirrel cage induction motor encased in a 316 Stainless Steel compensated housing. The motor has been designed specifically to match the available buss voltage & it’s dedicated motor invertor controller. The Silvercrest motor is smooth, quiet & powerful. The smoothest I have personally used in 20 years.
The motor control supplied is a CT-Commander SE invertor controller drive. Manufactured by one of the leading drive manufacturers in the world today. Each drive utilizes digital control using an onboard processor with EEPROM data storage. This allows the drive to store operating parameters & it’s own operating history for maintenance & fault diagnosis purposes.

Protection from water ingress is provided by a twin Bergmann, tandem mechanical shaft seal arrangement on each motor shaft working in conjunction with a custom built, 33 Lt capacity, oil filled central motor compensation system.

Great attention has been applied to designing for reliability and a long working life for the system. All components are rated to at least 150% of required working capacity. This over rating of individual components ensures that no single part of the system can ever be overloaded during correct use.
Specific motor functions & operational profiles can be catered for & programmed into the CT controller. For example the Odyssey system has a ‘Turbo’ function, whereby the motors run normally with a 7.5kW maximum output. At the flick of a switch on the pilot’s console, the motor can be enabled to output the maximum 11.5kW for 1½ minutes for use in manoeuvring emergencies.

Motors and drives of various ratings are available, utilizing many of the same frame parts. For example the 15kW motor utilizes the exact same parts as the 11.5kW unit, but with more motor laminations & therefore a slightly longer body. This reduces your spares requirement even when mixing & matching the motor sizes.

Military spec versions of the motors are also available.

Silvercrest Submarines offer a return to dealer, two-year warranty on all parts, subject to correct usage & standard terms & conditions.

General Specification.

Depth Rating 3000 Mts

Power Rating: 3kW -20kW

Poles 2,4,6 or 8

Voltage (Nominal) 340-480VAC

Phase 3

Max Amps 1A @ 0.25kW @ 340VAC
130A @ 20kW @ 340VAC
30.6A @ 11.5kW @ 340VAC *

Max RPM 2600 / 2 pole @ 50Hz
1300 / 4 pole @ 50 Hz
970 / 6 pole @ 50 Hz **
650 / 8 pole @ 50 Hz

Housing 316 Stainless Steel

Compensation Oil Filled – external compensator, ambient or over pressure.

Seals Twin, Tandem Mechanical Shaft Seals. ‘O’ Ring NDE

Weight 160kgs (11.5 kW) ***

Fixtures To Order

Warranty 2 Yrs – Extension negotiable


Rating 0.25kW – 37kW

Voltage 470-600VDC in
340-480VAC out

Current Up to 130A continuous

Protection Over current, Under volts, Thermal

Cooling Forced Air-conditioned air – water cooled

Weight 11kgs

Warranty 2 Yrs


Type Expanded bellows

Rating 33Lts ambient to 100PSI max

Material Anodised Aluminium – 316 Stainless Steel optional

Ports 7 – Optional extras as required

Fill # 4 JIC thru ¼” turn valve

Bleed ¼” Taymar 20PSI relief valve

Fixtures 316 Stainless Steel

Buss Switch Fuses

Main Switch Katko KVKE2xxx Switch Fuse

Volts >600VDC

Current As required

Motor Switches Katko KVKE2xxx Switch Fuse

Volts 600VDC

Current As Required

* Actual dynamometer measured
** Actual dynamometer measured
*** Actual measurement

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