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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on January 05, 2018

Collaboration to build hybrid tug

Caterpillar Marine is pleased to announce a collaboration with Sanmar Shipyards in Istanbul, Turkey to build an innovative tugboat with a hydraulic hybrid propulsion system. The Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive™ (AVD™) is a patented system leveraging Caterpillar's extensive experience with integrated power systems technology. Sanmar is the largest tug builder in Turkey with over 40 years of experience and known as a market leader at the forefront of the tug building industry.
The AVD™ system provides significant improvements in both fuel efficiency and vessel performance through a fully integrated hydro-mechanical propulsion system.
"Different from a typical Power Take In (PTI) solution, the AVD™ incorporates a planetary gear set allowing seamless clutch engagement of main engines, auxiliary engines, or both to provide a scalable power installation to meet any customer need in terms of maximum vessel speed, power, or bollard pull," said Nathan Kelly, Caterpillar Marine Product Definition Engineer. "This also allows propeller speed independent of engine speed so optimal engine efficiency can be achieved leading to fuel savings of fifteen to twenty percent. Basically, all the benefits of a variable speed Diesel Electric Propulsion (DEP) system at a fraction of the cost and size," said Kelly.
The AVD™ system is also flexible and can accommodate multiple configurations. Auxiliary engines can be utilized to accommodate low load or transit operations greatly extending time to overhaul and reducing service costs on main engines. Electric motors can also be used instead of hydraulics if required.
"AVD™ enables straight forward integration of either diesel, natural gas or gas turbine engines or any combination of these as prime movers, accommodating various levels of engine load acceptance capability and engine speed regimes," said Igor Strashny, Caterpillar Innovation and Technology Development Engineering Manager with responsibility for Advanced Marine Propulsion. "Main engines can be downsized in most applications with supplemental power provided by auxiliary engines. The system provides inherently high levels of propulsion redundancy. It is fully scalable to meet requirements of a wide range of vessel types, applications, and power levels", said Igor.
"This strategic development between Sanmar and Caterpillar will provide a highly optimized, lower cost alternative to conventional electric hybrid systems with similar benefits regarding improved performance, lower noise, and lower emissions," said Ali Gurun, Director of Projects, Sanmar Shipyards.
The Sanmar hydraulic hybrid tug will be a Robert Allan Ltd. designed RAmparts 2400SX harbor tug incorporating an integrated Caterpillar AVD™ system of 3512 main engines, a C32 auxiliary engine, Caterpillar MTA 627 fixed pitch tug thrusters, and bridge controls. It will carry Fifi 1 designation with 70T metric bollard pull and will be supported by Turkish Caterpillar dealer Borusan Makina. The AVD™ system will also include a fully integrated controls system with customizable operating modes and display panels at the bridge. Compared to a conventional tug with equivalent bollard pull, the Return on Investment (ROI) is estimated at 3 years or less based on projected fuel and operating cost savings.
Source and top image: Caterpillar
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing Europe 2019 External Link on 10 - 11 Apr 2019 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.