Crowley Engineering Services has completed the design of the first ever electric U.S. tugboat, and it even has autonomous technology. I can’t wait to see these bad boys on the Mississippi River someday. Going down to watch the boats is fun, but even better if electric!
The new design is powered by the expertise of new subsidiary Jensen Maritime. It leverages a large electric battery system. It also has a power-saving technology to operate in a fully electric mode while producing zero air emissions or greenhouse gases. The tug is 82 feet long and provides 70 short tons of bollard pull. It has an Azimuthing drive propulsion system with 1,800 kW of power capacity from the motors and a 6 MWh battery.
The design even has fully customizable features to meet the vessel design requirements while keeping the future in mind. The platform’s design can be adjusted for alternate power capacities that are suitable for a standard hybrid framework. The batteries, which are fully modular, can be upgraded as the technology for electric vehicles continues to change. Also, Crowley developed an onshore charging station to fully support the charging and reliable performance at the home port.
Ray Martus, Crowley Engineering Services Vice President, shared his thoughts on the new tugboat design. “Crowley’s design provides operators the tugboat solution to continue serving ships quickly and powerfully, while reducing their environmental impact by eliminating a carbon footprint,” he said. “This new design sets the standard for innovation by showing that sustainability and power can work together seamlessly in our maritime industries.”
The new electric tug has no exhaust stack, which enables those viewing from the pilot’s station to have a 360 degree visibility. The tug has also been designed for future autonomous operation that will increase the safety and efficiency of the operation. These features include integrated automation and control systems. Intelligent maneuvering and control systems both offer more efficient vessel operations while allowing the captain to focus on the overall control and positioning of the vessel at busy harbors.
If you want to see the full specifications, click here.