May 23, 2008 Hybrid technology is slowly beginning to make its mark on the roadways as manufacturers of cars, buses and trucks embrace it as a cleaner, more efficient alternative. Efforts are also underway to expand this type of technology on the water - Foss Maritime announced plans to build the world's first true hybrid tug boat in early 2007 and now GE and the C-MAR Group hope to demonstrate the feasibility of a hybrid tugboat technology that will both conserve fuel and reduce emissions.
The tugboat will use GE’s packaged hybrid propulsion system, which includes the V228 or V2500 medium-speed diesel engines, a generator, and a new generation of batteries. The V228 or V250 engines range in power from 1400 hp/1004 kW to 5685 continuous hp/4239 kW. The C-MAR Group is providing the architectural design, the power and control systems, and the propulsors, as well as being responsible for overall project management.
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“This is an exciting project that supports GE’s ongoing commitment to investing in new technologies. The alliance will explore the viability of applying this ‘green’ hybrid technology to the tugboat industry, with possible far-reaching applications in other sectors of the maritime industry,” said John Manison, manager of GE’s marine and stationary power business in Erie, Pennsylvania. “We believe there is strong demand for a hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency and to help customers comply with increasingly stringent emissions regulations. By combining our core expertise, GE and the C-MAR Group can effectively meet customer needs with this new hybrid technology,” Manison added.
In addition to the hybrid tugboat, GE’s "ecomagination" initiative encompasses the Evolution Hybrid locomotive, available in 2009; the hybrid off highway vehicle demonstration, in partnership with the US Department of Energy; zero emission hybrid fuel cell transit buses, in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration; and the GEnx fuel efficient aircraft engine. The company is also researching battery development for electric cars.