Monday, August 8, 2022
Maritime Propulsion

June 30, 2022

ABB to Power Japan’s First Electric Tugboat

Electric tugboat Taiga (Image: Tokyo Kisen Co., Ltd)

A new hybrid-electric tugboat due for delivery by end of December 2022 will be the first of its kind to operate in Japanese waters.

The vessel, Taiga, is the result of a collaboration between Tokyo Kisen Co., Ltd. and e5 Lab Inc., a Japanese consortium with the purpose of planning and developing fully electric vessels. It is being constructed at the Kanagawa Dockyard Co., Ltd. in Kobe.

Designed to enable zero-emission operations in harborside environments, it is equipped with ABB’s Onboard DC Grid, complete with a high battery capacity.

Tokyo Kisen’s harbor tug will be used to maneuver other vessels by pushing or towing them with 2.5-megawatt-hour battery systems supplied and integrated by ABB, reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a day-to-day basis, and acting as spinning reserve back-up power to prevent prolonged outages. The tug’s future-proof configuration also enables it to achieve emission-free operations by integrating alternative energy sources as technologies mature.

In addition to the energy storage solution, ABB supplies the tug with its power system platform Onboard DC Grid, which enables simple, flexible, and functional integration of energy sources and loads. Leveraging Onboard DC Grid, the tug’s engines will be able to run at variable speeds for optimized energy economy at each load level. This helps cut fuel consumption, reducing the environmental impact as a result. The batteries will be able to provide power to the tug’s propulsion system almost instantaneously, where ABB's Power and Energy Management System (PEMS™) will control the overall power distribution, increase fault tolerance and provide a high degree of reliability.