Today ISD lab starts the TUGA (Escort Tug Gas Propelled) project, founded by Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia within the POR-FESR 2014-2020 framework. The ISD lab will develop the project in collaboratin with two partners: Maarine Engineering Services S.r.l and Engys S.r.l.
The escort tugs operates in restricted waters, providing help to other ships. During escort operations, the tugs not only provide towing but contribute to the maneuvering capability of the assisted ship. Recent IMO rules fixed a road-map to lower the emissions of pollutants. In this framework, it is expected that all the ships operating in ports will be fitted with devices to lower the emissions or, alternatively, with a gas-fueled propulsion system. The adoption of LNG as fuel guarantees no SOx emissins and a remarkable reduction of NOx, CO2 and particulates emissions. In recent years, LNG propulsion systems have been already adopted on several types of vessels. However, such a technology was not widely applied on small crafts due to a reduced availability of small gas engines and due to the spaces required by gas containment system onboard. These matters drive to the need to study new technologies for onboard containment system as well as to develop a new optimized arrangements and hull forms. TUGA project has the aim to develop a new safe and reliable escort tug design, propelled by LNG. The escort capability will be assessed for heavy weather through CFD (computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations validated with experimental model tests. A model will be develop to extend the results to other hull forms helping to move towards a new generation of safer and eco-friendly escort tugs.