Design of a marine propeller for scale racing boats in a speed and energy efficiency contest
The process of optimized design, evaluation and manufacturing of high energy efficiency propellers for competition boats at scale is addressed in this research. This project uses the stages of hydrodynamic design, numerical testing and manufacturing of four prototypes as example. During the hydrodynamic design, three design methodologies were compared, namely: Blade Element Theory, lifting line theory and design based on DTMB propeller series. The objective function of the optimized design is based on obtaining the chord and pitch distribution that generates the greatest thrust, speed and efficiency. Similarly, the performance of each prototype was evaluated by CFD in a virtual channel registering thrust, torque and speed. Finally, the additive manufacturing process applied is presented. Prototyped propellers present efficiencies and maximum speeds approximately 15% higher than recommended commercial propellers for this type of boats. This study was developed by the Hydrometra group in the framework of the international competition Hydrocontest 2017.
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