Ship operator and manager Vroon asked Berg Propulsion to investigate the possibility of optimising the propulsion system on its container vessel, MV Indian Express. Advanced simulation tools were used to develop a new propeller geometry thorugh which a 22 per cent fuel saving overall could be achieved.
The ship was originally fitted with a controllable pitch propeller manufactured by ZF. The aim of the retrofit was to secure the sustainability benefits available through greater ship efficiency, ahead of the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).
Defining the vessel’s operational profile
‘In close cooperation with the ship owner and ship operator, we analysed the vessel’s current and future operational needs and defined its operation profile,’explains David Sakandelidze, Berg Propulsion Business Manager – Energy and Efficiency. ‘Next, the performance of the original propeller blades was benchmarked against the vessel’s defined operation profile.’
After developing the new propeller geometry, which modelling showed would achieve remarkably superior performance with regards to the new operation profile anticipated for the ship. In line with these findings, Berg Propulsion designed blades tailored for the operation, improving efficiency significantly, according to Sakandelidze.
He adds: ‘Efficiency gains are made for much of the time and, at 12 knots, the new blades achieve up to fifty per cent higher efficiency than the ones they replace.’
With performance improved at the speeds most commonly required during operations, Indian Express would achieve a 22 per cent fuel saving overall, as well as lower emissions that should go farther than the requirements of the IMO’s CII goals for 2026.