Tokyo Kisen launches Taiga electric tug

On May 26, Japanese tug service provider Tokyo Kisen held a christening and launching ceremony for the electric tug Taiga, currently under construction at the Kanagawa Shipyard.

Courtesy of e5 lab

The 36 meter long Taiga is propelled by a electric propulsion system which combines large capacity lithium-ion batteries developed by the Japanese maritime consortium e5 Lab and a diesel engine.

It is an eco-vessel designed to protect the environment in the areas surrounding the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki, as well as a crew-friendly tug, not only achieving low emissions/ zero CO2, NOx, SOx and particulate matter (PM) from the ship, but also reducing noise and vibration for a better working environment.

IHI Power Systems participated in the development of the tug as system integrator and supplier of the vessel’s electric propulsion system. The Taiga is the first tug to adopt IHI Power Systems’ L-Drive propulsion system. The system also marks the first use of ABB’s DC grid in Japan.

In combination with the high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, it offers greater efficiency than conventional electric propulsion systems. In addition, it can be upgraded for even greater energy efficiency by analyzing important parameters such as lithium-ion battery charge-discharge power and propulsion motor power, as well as motor fuel consumption. diesel.

The project team also collaborated with OSD-IMT, a Dutch Damen Shipyards group company, to design the concept of the tug to improve the operational performance of the crew as well as the living environment.

In recognition of these advances, the tug construction project was adopted as a grant project by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. .

Initially, the team considered fitting the tug with hydrogen fuel cells to improve environmental performance and conducted a risk assessment in cooperation with project partners, but decided against the batteries.

The Taiga is expected to be completed in December 2022 and will mainly operate in the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki as a harbor tug after delivery. In addition, the installation of power supply equipment on a floating jetty designed specifically for the Taiga will be completed when the tugboat is commissioned.

Courtesy of e5 lab

The Taiga is the second eco-friendly tug, after the Ginga, a diesel-electric hybrid harbor tug that was launched in the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki in 2013.

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