Solarglide Achieve ‘93%’ Glare Reduction On Suez Canal 70 Tonne Tugs

Protecting their crew whilst they navigate through bustling waterways, with cassetted solar screens.


Solarglide worked closely with the Egypt Suez Canal Authority to supply and install 49 cassetted solar screens on each tugboat resulting in the windows being protected from extreme solar glare.

The solar screens that were installed are an essential safety product, aesthetically they look great but more importantly they help to save lives by improving navigation. They also contribute to lower operational costs as the internal temperatures are being reduced inside the bridge area.

What was the task?

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority took delivery of four 70 tonne bollard pull ASD type tugs operating in the regions of Port Said and the Suez Canal. These tugboats are critical for facilitating the safe transit and port operations of larger vessels in these bustling shipping zones. For that reason these new-build tugboats have been designed to be larger than standard tugs, they are built to accommodate the size of the huge ships that they assist. Tug boats of this kind have lots of windows closely clustered together, giving the crew essential all round visibility.

This area of Egypt is hot and humid, with low lying sunshine and glare making navigation hazardous at times, resulting in distorting and blocking the navigator’s visibility. It’s critical that the crew have 100% clear vision at all times, to avoid accidents and to minimise delays with guiding vessels in and out of the port. As people working in the maritime sector will know; guiding a ship through the Suez Canal is a highly skilful job.

How did we achieve 93% glare reduction?

The solar screens are a retractable transparent blind; they block out solar glare and relentless direct sunshine that can often hinder crew visibility. The screens act as a barrier for the crew against the outside solar elements that can often make operations more challenging. The bridge of a tug has a window parameter of 360 degrees, the inside of the bridge can feel like a greenhouse, making it unbearable to work in if the windows are left unprotected. The solar screens can also be stored away in a cassette, during the night time operations for safe manoeuvres in the dark and in accordance with SOLAS Regulations.

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