Finland-based research group VTT is teaming up with industry partners on the UltraPropulsor Co-Innovation project to study increasing propulsion efficiency by developing new propulsion concepts and improving hull design to significantly reduce fuel consumption, shipping emissions and underwater noise.
VTT said currently the propulsive efficiency of ships, meaning how much of the power delivered to the propeller can be used for propelling the ship, is about 70 %.
This can be significantly improved by developing new propulsor and hull form innovations. This kind of improvement is also not dependent on the fuel type used and leads always to lowered fuel consumption, it added.
Besides the GHG emissions, underwater radiated noise has been recognised as a major environmental issue in the shipping industry.
“VTT is tackling this challenge with industry partners and is developing new methods to model the underwater noise and propeller cavitation phenomena. By better understanding the sources for the underwater noise, it can be mitigated more effectively,” said the research group.
“The main goal of the research project is to significantly increase the propulsive efficiency of ships by developing new propulsion concepts. Increase in propulsive efficiency leads directly to lower fuel consumption and lower emissions. Concurrently we are looking for solutions to lower the underwater radiated noise of ships”, said research scientist Ilkka Perälä who is leading the project at VTT.
VTT received a USD 1.21 million funding from Business Finland for UltraPropulsor Co-Innovation project. The project develops future solutions for zero-emission shipping. Total budget of the co-innovation project is USD 4.5 million including the industry partner budgets.
VTT contributes to the project with strong hydrodynamics and materials science expertise to minimise ship energy consumption and enabling the development of novel low emission solutions and concepts.
Industrial partners in the project are ABB, Foreship, ATA Gears and Composite Solutions and Innovations. VTT acts as a research partner supporting the research needs of the industry partners. The consortium brings together strong expertise from different domains of the maritime sector.
Main topics of the research project include hydrodynamic research to demonstrate the feasibility of novel solutions by numerical modelling and experiments, and material research to develop methods for strength assessment of propeller blades.
Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP from Unsplash
Published: 19 August, 2022
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