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SME shareholder Schottel commits to ‘net-zero’ future supporting first all-electric US tug

December 10, 2021

Engineering firm Schottel has reaffirmed its future net zero commitments through its latest contract involving the United States’ first all-electric tugboat.

The German engineering firm is partnering with US ship owner and operator Crowley to deliver the eWolf harbour tug’s propulsion system. It adds to Schottel’s considerable efforts in the marine renewables sphere, supporting Sustainable Marine’s tidal energy ambitions - both technically and financially - as its largest single shareholder.

After merging in 2018, Sustainable Marine incorporated Schottel’s powertrain and control systems to become a fully integrated systems provider.

In a bid to ramp up environmental efforts, Schottel more recently commited to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all scopes by 2050, pursuing a path aligned with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) zero-emission targets.

Its latest contract supporting the fully electric tugboat eWolf involves the supply of two Rudder Propellers type SRP 430 featuring the LE-Drive. The SRP 430 LE is characterized by its compact design.

Due to the extremely low installation height of the LE-Drive and the omission of the upper gearbox, the mechanical efficiency is expected to be increased by around 3%, and, at the same time, fuel consumption should be reduced.

The eWolf will have a 6-Mwh energy storage system with sufficient capacity enabling the vessel to deliver one full day of normal work without using a drop of fuel. Batteries can supply power to the propulsion system almost instantly, ensuring effective ship support and harbour escort services without emissions.

Furthermore, the tug’s systems are designed for fast-changing load requirements. The vessel has two generators on board for emergency use and to enable longer transit distances at a reduced speed.

Beyond this, the vessel will feature MariHub, the IoT gateway and monitoring solution from Schottel. It records and analyses signals from sensors, machinery and other components.

Together with the condition monitoring service ProCMS, MariHub is anticipated to detect any irregularities in the propulsion system. This predictive maintenance approach significantly increases the availability of the fully electric vessel: ProCMS is able to support the operator’s achievements in reducing maintenance costs and improve maintenance planning.

The eWolf will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, using design and on-site construction management by Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group.

The 82-foot vessel will generate 70 short tons of bollard pull. Scheduled to enter operations by mid-2023, it will support ship arrivals and departures at the Port of San Diego in California.


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