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Lean Transformation of Conventional Tugboat Propulsion Powering to Fuel Cell Technology

By Damir Kolich, Sasa Sladic, Niksa Fafandjel

The powering of tug boats with conventional diesel engine powered propulsion needs to be brought into question due to the significant CO2 footprint of this technology. The use of fuel cell technology on ferries and navy vessels is an excellent reason to investigate its application on tug - boats. It is necessary to make a comparison of both the conventional diesel powered technology along with fuel cell technology in order to investigate whether fuel cell technology could simulate the powering (kW) needs of tug boats during coastal operations of docking and un-docking of vessels many times it size. Therefore an analysis of tug boat powering is compared to alkaline and hydrogen (H2) fuel cells, the two most common types. A case study is made of a typical tugboat during an undocking operation. A simulation of the capabilities of fuel cells is made. The use of lean principles and tools is used to guide the newly inspired fuel cell powered tugboat. Key words: tug boat propulsion, fuel cells, lean principles, kW.