The Effect of Propeller Pitch on Ship Propulsion
Keywords:Controllable pitch, Fixed pitch, CPP, Self-propulsion estimation method, KCS, DTC
The appropriate choice of a marine engine identified by using self-propulsion model tests is compulsory, in particular with respect to the improvement of vessel performances. Numerical simulations or experimental methods provide insight into the problem of flow, where fixed pitch propellers or controllable pitch propellers are preferred. While calculation methods are time consuming and computationally demanding for both propeller types, hydrodynamic performance assessment has more workload in controllable pitch propellers. This paper aims to describe and demonstrate the practicability and effectiveness of the self-propulsion estimation (SPE) method in understanding the effect of propeller pitch on ship propulsion. Technically, the hydrostatic and geometric characteristics of the vessel and open-water propeller performances are the focal aspects that affect the self-propulsion parameters estimated by the SPE method. The input coefficients for SPE have been identified using a code that generates propeller open-water performance curves. The propellers utilized to study pitch variations have been based on the Wageningen B-series propeller database. The method was first validated on the full size Seiun Maru ship whose sea trial tests are available in literature. After extensive calculations for full size KCS and DTC at service speeds, the study focused on the effect of the Froude number on propulsion parameters. These calculations have demonstrated that greater propeller pitch does not improve propulsion efficiency, and that maximum propeller efficiency changes with a ship's forward speed.
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