First fully electric autonomous tug for US market

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Crowley Engineering Services has completed the design for the first fully electric US tugboat with autonomous technology.

The design, which leverages the expertise of recently integrated subsidiary Jensen Maritime, utilizes a large electric battery system and power saving technology to operate in a fully electric mode. The 82ft tug will provide 70 short tons of bollard pull, featuring an azimuthing drive propulsion system with two 1,800kW motors and a 6MWh battery.

Crowley notes that the design also supports fully customizable features to meet potential future use requirements, for example, the platform can be adjusted for alternate power capacities suitable for a standard hybrid framework if desired. The fully modular batteries also allow for upgrades as electric technology changes. In addition, Crowley has developed an onshore charging station to fully support charging and reliable performance at the home port.

“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,” said Ray Martus, vice president, Crowley Engineering Services. “This new design sets the standard for innovation by showing that sustainability and power can work together seamlessly in our maritime industries.”

With no exhaust stack, the tug has 360° of visibility from the pilot’s station, allowing the operator to see without obstruction. It has also been designed for future autonomous operation to increase the safety and efficiency of the operation, including integrated automation and control systems.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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