Hybrid tug boats are sort of hard to picture for me. I guess they don’t need to look much different, but, for some reason, it is hard for me to put the two together. Nonetheless, they do exist… or, at least, one hybrid electric tugboat exists, the Carolyn Dorothy tugboat. And a recent study out of the University of California-Riverside shows that it does indeed reduce emissions considerably.
Joshua S. Hill of our sister site Planetsave.com writes:
Tested at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the researchers at the UC Riverside College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) demonstrated that the hybrid electric tugboat reduced emissions of soot by about 73%, oxides of nitrogen by 51%, and carbon dioxide by 27%.
While tug boats are not the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, they do contribute to global climate change. Cutting tug boat emissions would be very helpful. Hopefully this lonely hybrid tug boat will find a friend or two soon.
Additionally, beyond making tug boats greener, this technology innovation could lead to broader innovations in the shipping industry, which is responsible for quite a large share of greenhouse gas emissions — over 1 billion tons and nearly 4.5% of total global emissions (more than twice the emissions of the aviation industry). Improving the efficiency of ships of all sizes is highly needed.
Check out the full study on California’s hybrid electric tugboat [PDF] online via the California Environmental Protection Agency if you are interested in learning more.
Photo Credit: Boogies with Fish via flickr (CC license)