World’s 1st all electric tugboat now at work in Istanbul

A harbour port near Istanbul is home to the world’s 1st fully operational all electric tugboat, which is expected to prevent the emission of 210 tonnes of CO2 and nine tonnes of NOx (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) in its first year of work (when compared to the exhaust from a similarly sized diesel tug), reports.

The tug, named ‘Gisas Power‘, was built by ZEETUG –  Zero Emission Electric Tug boat – with design by Navtek Naval Technologies Inc., Istanbul, Turkey. It is owned by GISAS Shipbuilding and works in the Port of Tuzla Aydınlı Bay, which has both environmental and navigational restraints that the all electric solution was designed to address.

All electric tugboat chosen over hybrid system

Gisas asked Navtek for harbour tugs with both “lower emission and smaller size” than its previous fleet. When the boat was first commissioned, in 2018, Orkun Özek, Navtek’s  Chairman said: “The tug will work in a very narrow and tight environment, which is why we opted for a fully electric, battery-powered propulsion system rather than a hybrid solution.”

The ZEETUG integrated electrical propulsion system has been designed in a modular way to address that variety of uses. Boats can be tailored to a client’s specific operation profile from 5T BP to 75T BP.

Two 1,450kW li-ion battery packs for full day’s work

This first model, the ZEETUG-30, draws all its power from two 1,450kW lithium-ion battery packs, in the Orca energy storage system (ESS) from Corvus Energy. For safety, the tug has two extra battery rooms, one forward and one aft, both maintained at a constant temperature by an air cooling system.

The tugboat has been designed to operate for a full day on a single charge, which comes from a land-based quick charge station (QCS) also designed and built by Navtek.

The entire system is monitored by Navtek’s Smart Tug Energy Management System (STEMS) with software that tracks tug speed, motor speed, power consumption, battery-motor temperature and battery state of charge, providing feedback and suggested actions to the captain.

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