MAY 26, 2015—The boil-off gas has long been successfully used as fuel by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers. Now, a recently patented technology could make the use of boil-off gas as fuel practical in LNG Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units.
Naval architectural and marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA, reports that Moran Towing Corporation, New Canaan, CT, has been granted U.S. Patent 8,967,174 for "Articulated conduit systems and uses thereof for fuel gas transfer between a tug and barge." EBDG says the patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 2, 2014, and in general terms describes arrangements and methods for transferring boil-off gas between a liquefied natural gas tank barge and its tug, while taking into account the relative motion between the two vessels.
EBDG has developed several different LNG ATB designs for both the inland and coastal markets.
"This design represents an advance in natural gas fuel transfer technology and demonstrates EBDG's and Moran's commitment to the emerging maritime LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) transport industry," says Curt Leffers, PE, EBDG Project Manager and one of the inventors listed on the patent. "It also brings to realization the concept of using natural gas as fuel between a tug and a barge.”
The development of the system was the result of a collaborative effort over an approximate one year period by teams from both EBDG and Moran. The individual inventors listed on the patent include Sean Perreault; (Danbury, CT), Curtis Leffers; (Seattle, WA), Matthew Roddy; (Edmonds, WA), Matthew Wichgers; (Seattle, WA) and Jeremy Rice; (Seattle, WA).