Heat recycling system for tugs nominated for Innovation Award

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Zero-Emission Heat Recycling System, is based on PCM technology

JUNE 9, 2017 — Rotterdam headquartered towage operator KOTUG International BV reports that its Zero-Emission Heat Recycling System, a cost-effective and sustainable system to store and regenerate heat on tugboats, has been nominated for a Maritime Innovation Award 2017. The award is presented annually by the Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT).

KOTUG says the system can be described as an accumulator that stores heat using the latest Phase Change Material (PCM) technology and redistributes the heat when required, adding that has been amply tested and found to have many economical, technical and environmental benefits.

A tugboat requires energy when it is on stand-by to keep the engines at the right temperature, and for climate control. This energy is usually derived from onshore power supply stations at a considerable cost.

In order to optimize tugboat energy use and save costs, the idea of storing and re-using the waste heat from the main engines and generator was conceived by KOTUG, which then set about developing and fine-tuning the technology for the heat recycling system.

The new system which is based on the latest Phase Change Material (PCM) technology, is an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution. It reduces shore power consumption with 50%, thus cutting CO2 emissions by half.

So, what’s a Phase Change Material? According to one explanation, a phase change material absorbs and releases thermal energy in order to maintain a regulated temperature. When in thesolid phase the PCM will absorb heat as the external temperature rises.The reverse cycle occurs as the external temperature cools.

“This use of PCM technology is new in the maritime industry and has great potential not only for tugboats, but for every type of vessel, as it can be tailored to different spaces and user profiles,” said Koos Smoor, KOTUG’s Manager Fleet Performance & Innovation. “KOTUG is looking into more applications for temperature control purposes.”,

KOTUG is well known for innovations such as the Rotortug and the eco-friendly E-Kotug.

“We see beauty in solutions that combine the golden triangle of state-of-the-art technology, sustainability and cost reductions,” says Mr. Smoot. “This innovation is an answer to market demand as well as environmental requirements and actually reduces costs as well.”

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