Crowley Engineering Services has completed the design of the first US-flagged fully electric tug to be equipped with autonomous technology.
Designed jointly by Crowley and recently integrated subsidiary Jensen Maritime Consultants, the 200GRT, 24- by 12-metre tug will be capable of a speed of 12 knots and up to 63 tonnes of bollard pull through the use of an azimuthing drive with two 1,800kW electric motors and a 6MWh battery.
Crowley said the design will also support fully customisable features to meet various vessel design requirements. The platform design can be adjusted for alternate power capacities suitable for a standard hybrid framework if desired while the fully modular batteries allow for upgrades as technology changes.
In addition, Crowley has developed an onshore charging station for use at each vessel’s home port.
The complete reliance on battery power means the tug will eliminate the need for an exhaust stack. This will guarantee a full 360 degrees of visibility from the operator’s station.
The tug has also been designed for future autonomous operation with a suite of integrated automation and control systems to increase safety and efficiency of operations. An intelligent manoeuvring and control system will offer more efficient vessel operations and will allow masters to focus on the overall control and positioning of the vessel in increasingly busy harbours.
Accommodations for the crew will be in the form of four berths while deck equipment will include electric render/recovery winches at the bow and stern.
The tug is designed to ABS class and compliant with US Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations.
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