The multi-function Powerhouse Tug & Barge (PTB) system is a novel design that utilizes electric propulsion in the barge and a tugboat with a set of generators as a power pack. This concept has two basic differences with traditional ATB (Articulated Tug & Barge) system. First, though the barge will have electrical propulsion gear onboard, the propulsion power will come from the tug, acting as a powerhouse. Secondly, the Powerhouse Tug will be connected at the bow of the barge rather than at the stern and will be pushed by the barge when propelling. The control will be onboard the Powerhouse Tug. 

This concept will have propulsion and operational advantage of a ship compounded with commercial advantage of a tug & barge system. The greatest advantage of this concept is that the tug can be designed to serve as a traditional tow boat, pusher in ATB configuration, as well as a Powerhouse Tug in PTB configuration, serving all kinds of barges and vessels while the barge can be designed for highest propulsive efficiency with ship shape stern.

Powerhouse Tug & Barge (PTB) System

Typical PTB System Arrangement

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A new marine propulsion concept