Rolls-Royce mtu Engines to Power Hybrid 80-Ton Tugboats in Brazil, for the First Time

Rolls-Royce is developing not just next-generation aircraft engines, but also a variety of solutions for maritime applications, from industrial ships to ferries and yachts, which will help them comply with future regulations in terms of carbon footprint.
Rolls-Royce will deliver eight mtu engines for the first four hybrid tugboats in Brazil 6 photos
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Rolls-Royce announced an important achievement related to its mtu engines for maritime applications. The company will be supplying engines for hybrid, 80-ton bollard pull tugboats for the first time, and it will also be the first time when the advanced mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines will be used in Latin America.

The tugboats will be built by Detroit Brasil and operated by Starnav Servicos Maritimos. What’s innovative about them is that they’ll be powered by a hybrid propulsion system, based on mtu engines, Z-drive thrusters, Schottel hybrid controls, and mtu’s Blue Vision New Generation (BVNG) monitoring system.

Maxwell Oliveira, General Manager of Detroit Brasil Shipyard, explained that the thrusters can be connected to only one of the main engines, during operations that are less demanding, which improves fuel consumption, lowers emissions, and cuts overall costs. When maximum power is required, the tugboat reverts to a conventional propulsion system, with each thruster connected to one of the engines.

The mtu 16V 4000 M65L engine delivers 2,560 kW at 1,800 rpm, which is suitable for this type of hybrid propulsion, while also maintaining a high level of power reserve on demand, said Oliveira.

Eight of these mtu engines will be delivered by the end of the year, to power four new hybrid tugboats. Starnav Servicos Marítimos is already operating harbor tugs and offshore vessels that are powered by mtu Series 4000 engines, and Rolls-Royce has reached a 20% share in the Brazilian tug boat market, since 2010, when the first mtu 4000 was installed on a tug boat in Brazil.

Rolls-Royce is also planning to introduce hybrid solutions for yachts, including next-generation mtu Series 2000 engines, electric motors, gearboxes, and other electronic components. In addition to this, the 4000 and 2000 series engines will be approved for sustainable fuels, in 2023. Last but not least, the company is also considering the potential of fuel cells for its future developments.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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