Propeller Design
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General information
Ship propellers need to be very efficient. This implies that the energy supplied to the propeller is to be converted to thrust with only a minimum of losses. Moreover, a propeller should not generate unwanted vibration and inboard noise. Finally, the propeller should not suffer from erosion damage due to propeller cavitation. Finding the right balance between these demands is a major task of the designer. The next design step is to actually define the blade geometry which satisfies all these requirements. The hydrodynamic performance is evaluated by computational analyses and often followed by model experiments.

Services & Activities
The Propulsors and Cavitation Knowledge Team tests, analyses and designs marine propellers. Many of those propellers are special ones, e.g. “low-noise” naval propellers, propellers for low vibration-excitation and for special purpose units. Throughout the years, several computational tools have been developed for the design and hydrodynamic analysis. A most famous MARIN achievement is the development and testing of the B-series propellers. The first propellers of this systematic series date from the 1930s. Similar systematic series have been developed for propellers in nozzles. MARIN is pleased to offer its services in advising, designing analysing and testing to ship yards, operators, propeller manufacturers and suppliers of marine propulsion components.

Facilities & Tools
Experimental evaluation of the hydrodynamic performance of marine propellers is carried out in the following facilities

  • Deep Water Towing Tank: Propeller efficiency measurements
  • Depressurized Towing Tank: Propeller cavitation and hull-pressure measurements
  • Cavitation Tunnel: Same type of testing using so-called “dummy” models with realistic afterbody geometry
The design and analysis of marine propellers employs several computational tools of a variety of accuracy and complexity

  • PSP, SCREW: B-series design
  • INDFACT, DESPRO: Lifting-line design method
  • PROCAL, PROF: Panel code for propeller design
Software Sales
Some software tools are available for commercial use outside MARIN. A complete overview of these software tools for sale can be found under Software Sales.

Experience
The list below gives a review of some propeller design work carried out at MARIN:

  • The design of the propellers of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy
  • The design of propellers of some of the largest container ships
  • The design of low-noise propellers for bow thrusters
The following Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) were focussed on designing propellers:

  • TIP-VOR (Designing naval propellers with a delayed inception of tip-vortex cavitation)
Most recent propeller design related papers presented by MARIN
(complete overview of papers can be found under Publications)

Development of a Scaled-Down Floating Wind Turbine for Offshore Basin Testing
de Ridder, E-J, Otto, W., Zondervan. G., Huijs, F., Vaz, G., OMAE ASME 33nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 2014

New propeller optimisation process can analyse 10,000 designs a day!
Evert-Jan Foeth, MARIN Report, 2013

Hydrodynamic software suites make design concept evaluation more efficient
Arno Bons & Arie de Wit, MARIN Report, 2013

ReFRESCO plays major role in understanding and designing Energy Saving Devices
Bart Schuiling & Guilherme Vaz, MARIN Report, 2013

Numerical simulation of propeller-hull interaction and determination of the effective wake field using a hybrid RANS-BEM approach
D. Rijpkema, B. Starke, J. Bosschers, Third International Symposium on Marine Propulsors (SMP), Launceston, Tasmania, 2013

Most recent cavitation related articles written for MARIN Report:
(complete overview of articles can be found under Publications)

Development of a Scaled-Down Floating Wind Turbine for Offshore Basin Testing
de Ridder, E-J, Otto, W., Zondervan. G., Huijs, F., Vaz, G., OMAE ASME 33nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 2014

New propeller optimisation process can analyse 10,000 designs a day!
Evert-Jan Foeth, MARIN Report, 2013

Hydrodynamic software suites make design concept evaluation more efficient
Arno Bons & Arie de Wit, MARIN Report, 2013

ReFRESCO plays major role in understanding and designing Energy Saving Devices
Bart Schuiling & Guilherme Vaz, MARIN Report, 2013

Numerical simulation of propeller-hull interaction and determination of the effective wake field using a hybrid RANS-BEM approach
D. Rijpkema, B. Starke, J. Bosschers, Third International Symposium on Marine Propulsors (SMP), Launceston, Tasmania, 2013

Contact
For more information on how MARIN can help your organisation with the issue of the design of propellers, please contact the Propulsors and Cavitation Knowledge Team at: propulsors@marin.nl

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