Crowley Previews Design of All-Electric, Autonomous Tug

crowley tug

Published Apr 19, 2021 1:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Crowley's Engineering Services division announced Monday that it has completed the design of the first fully electric U.S. tugboat with autonomous technology - a new green option for ship assist and harbor services.

The design was produced by the Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, and it uses a large battery system and power saving technology to run in full battery-electric mode, with no locally-produced emissions. The 82-foot tug will provide 70 short tons of bollard pull using its 1,800 kW azimuthing drive propulsion system and a 6 MWh battery.

The platform design can be adjusted for alternate power arrangements, including a standard hybrid-power system. The fully modular batteries allow for upgrades as technology changes. In addition, Crowley has developed an onshore charging station for the necessary home port infrastructure.

With no exhaust stack, the tug has 360 degrees of visibility from the pilot house. It has also been designed for future autonomous operation, including integrated automation and control systems. The intelligent maneuvering and control system offers more efficient vessel operations and allows masters to focus on the overall control and positioning of the vessel.

“Crowley’s design provides operators the tugboat solution to continue serving ships quickly and powerfully while reducing their environmental impact,” said Ray Martus, vice president of 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.”