Saturday, March 03, 2007

Shipping: Hybrid tug set to revolutionise tug technology

Foss Maritime, a leading American tug and barge operator based in Seattle, is teaming with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, to build an electric-diesel hybrid tug.

"It should have a profound impact on tug technology in the decades ahead," said Port of Los Angeles spokesman Arley Baker. "It's a huge step forward."
Associated Press reports the first boat could start production later this year and be delivered in 2008 to the Los Angeles area.

The hybrid design is similar to the technology used in hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius, although the tug's engine was more directly inspired by diesel hybrids used in some railroad vehicles.

The new tug would still use diesel engines to guide massive container ships or pull a loaded barge, but when idling in a harbour or doing less strenuous tasks, the hybrid would rely on electric batteries, supplemented by diesel generators, for its power.

Post: 1/10