A brand new hybrid tug will be on duty at the Port of San Francisco in early 2019. The crew will be able to choose from diesel power, or battery power, or both. This will save energy as they go about their task of towing and pushing. Moreover, there will be significant savings in operating costs too. Rolls-Royce will be doing some of the heavy technical heavy lifting in conjunction with three industry partners.
More about the Rolls-Royce Hybrid Tug
Rolls-Royce has developed a new range of powerful thrusters to cope with increasing ship sizes. Sometimes these ‘propellers’ tick over on idle. At other times, they are on full load. Sometimes they need emergency power to cope with a critical situation.
Advanced Technology at Crews’ Fingertips
The person at the helm will be able to use diesel power, or battery power, or both according to the needs of the moment. The technology is as simple as having two sets of propelling devices per hybrid tug thruster, so there is no need for an additional reduction gearbox.
However, the marine batteries will make their greatest contribution at the electric winches. Rolls-Royce electric winches have exceptional torque at low speeds, and have smaller footprints than hydraulic alternatives. Permission for batteries to come aboard captain? Aye aye sir, you are most welcome.
The Signs of the Times Upon Us
Early steamships were sail-assisted because passengers did not trust the new technology. As times went by the furled sails vanished, although the fore and aft masts lingered on. Do you suppose we will reach a point soon where batteries do the job while diesel remains on standby on a hybrid tug? We believe it is possible – highly desirable – that diesel vanishes completely.
Preview Image: Hybrid Thruster Power
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