In a Joint Industry Project (JIP), MARIN has developed a standard series of 150 efficient fixed-pitch propellers using the latest tools. This week, the final test of this new F-series took place.

‘The Wageningen B-series propellers is quite famous amongst naval architects,’ says MARIN President Bas Buchner. ‘Today (15 February, ed.), we added another step in the 91-year history of MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands): the final test of the new F-series: 150 modern propellers with a focus on efficiency.’

The JIP is sponsored by more than 35 participants. The new series has been designed for best achievable efficiency, while simultaneously taking into account requirements on cavitation, noise and vibrations. The need for the series results from the growing awareness of safety, ecological and comfort aspects in ship design, and the increasing electrification of ship propulsion systems.

Using the latest tools

Multi-objective optimisation tools, in combination with both Boundary Element Methods (BEM) and Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods were used in the design stage.

All propeller models are manufactured on a new five-axis milling machine, and tested in open water conditions using the quasi-steady measurement technique, which was successfully deployed for the previous CD-series propellers.

Also read: VIDEO: How MARIN validates calculations of the stern wave of a mega cruise ship

Follow-up JIP

A follow-up of the F-series JIP is already underway: the Wageningen FC-series. The objective of Wageningen FC-series is to design and test eighteen additional propellers for cruise ships, yachts and other ships with high demands on comfort levels. These propellers will have a focus on energy saving (conforming the requirement of government on subsidies) while assuring the present performance on comfort.

In the design phase of the Wageningen F-Series Propellers, both inventory and detailed design work have been carried out for various types of ships, covering merchant vessels to high speed crafts; submarines to cruise ships and yachts. The study showed that the geometric characteristics of the propellers for the cruise ships and yachts distinguished from that of the rest of the ship types studied.

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It was hence decided during the previous JIP meetings that the cruise ships, the yachts and other ships with high demands on comfort levels should be excluded from the Wageningen F-Series Propellers. Instead, a small series called Wageningen FC-Series, where C denotes for comfort, should be developed.

Only five- and six-bladed propellers and with a pitch ratio equal to or higher than 1.0 will be considered.

The pictures is a still from the video above (by MARIN/Bas Buchner).

Also read: VIDEO: How holes in a propeller reduce underwater noise