DISCOVER Magazine #7

Decades of R&D lead to the Damen Hybrid Tug

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

Launching Damen’s first ever hybrid tug – the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid – represents the culmination of decades of Damen Research & Development. As the Group really believes in the concept, Damen is currently the only yard worldwide building hybrid tugs for stock.

In October 2012, Damen was proud to announce that Iskes Towage & Salvage would be the launching customer of the new Hybrid and a second vessel will be available from stock end-

Depending on the operating profile of a tug, the ASD 2810 Hybrid, which has a combination of diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion, facilitates average fuel savings of between 10% and 30% and cuts local emissions by 20% to 60%. The vessel has a bollard pull of 60 tonnes.

Erik van Schaik, Design & Proposal Engineer, Damen Tugs says: “In the past many green solutions were simply too expensive for the tugboat market. We were very mindful that this vessel had to cut fuel and emissions but at the same time it had to be positioned at an attractive price for the market. We wanted to make being green commercially attractive too.”

Being green has to be commercially attractive

With fuel costs continuing to rise, the Hybrid facilitates considerable fuel savings as well. “The investment in the Hybrid version is higher but not excessively so when compared to a regular ASD Tug 2810”, stresses Mr Van Schaik.

The ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid embodies extensive Damen research. In 2012 the three-year ‘E3’ project was completed whereby Damen and its partners monitored a conventional ASD Tug 2810 operating in the port of Rotterdam. Robert van Koperen, Senior Project Engineer at Damen’s Research Department has been at the heart of these efforts. During an unprecedented benchmark study, a staggering 80 parameters were measured over four weeks in a bid to identify the average operational profile of a typical harbour tug.

During the monitoring campaign the E3 team found that the average load profile showed that tugs are running inefficiently for most of the time. For up to 75% of the day they can be free sailing, station keeping, running idle essentially, making them less environmentally friendly and leading to higher operational costs. Secondly, the engines are idling at very low loads of just 7% for half of the time, consequently leading to high levels of fuel consumption and emissions.

ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid cuts fuel and emissions by at least 20%

The diesel electric propulsion system in the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid delivers enough power to prevent the main engines of the diesel direct propulsion system from running idle frequently or at low loads.

Calculate exact savings

Alongside the E3 study Damen’s in-house Research team developed a computer simulation model looking at various propulsion trains such as diesel-electric or hybrid systems for the particular sailing profile of the tug. Damen can use this simulation model to calculate the exact savings that are possible in each individual case, based on the tug’s operating profile and running hours. “This model enables us to show our customers what they can expect to gain if they have a Hybrid instead of a conventional vessel. This methodology is completely scientific and gives real insight,” says Mr Van Koperen.

Battery packs

Additionally, as an option, Damen is offering battery packs of 100 kWh whereby it is possible to shut down all the engines during station keeping, manoeuvring and free sailing at low speeds, making the vessel even more environmentally friendly.

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