Ship propeller inland waterway multipurpose vessel business case

By: Jeroen Berger, July 9, 2017

The inland waterway multipurpose vessels Breitling/ Breitling II and Alorba/Alorba II from Vice Versa Shipping in Werkendam (The Netherlands) are managed by Ruijven BV where Rook Ruijtenberg is the owner. It has been a spearhead to give these multipurpose vessels an environmentally friendly look. We from Berger Maritiem found it a challenge to design and deliver CFD optimized ship propellers for this project.


About the inland waterway multipurpose vessels


With the inland waterway multipurpose vessels, they are mostly shipping coal and gravel. The vessels have the perfect dimensions for the Upper Rhine till Basel Birsfelden. For example, the Breitling / Breitling II and Alorba / Alorba II are 183 meters in length and 11,45 meters in width and that is perfect for the locks on the Upper Rhine. Both ships have also a depth of 3.7 meters. Looking at the dimensions, in one go 368 TEU of containers can be transported.  


In the engine room of each multipurpose vessel two Cummins diesel engines are installed. These are of the QSK38-M1 type. They have an output of 1044 kW (1400 hp) at 1600 rpm.


For this project we have designed and delivered four CFD optimized 4-blades ship propellers in a nozzle (diameter: 1.7 m).        


What was our approach?


By getting the right technical data (for example a GA drawing) of the ships, we went to work. For designing the right ship propellers, we have used, together with our partner VICUSdt, highly advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software.


By using this reliable technology, we have not only getting insights of the hydrodynamic performance of the ship propeller. With the use of our CFD software we were able to investigate all the factors of resistance of the vessels for designing the most efficient ship propeller tailored to the ship type and sailing profile. See Figure 1 for the 3D model of the stern of the ship.


Figure 1: 3D model of the stern of the ship


By making use of CFD we have seen for example the resistance coming from the ship rudder and nozzle for designing the right ship propeller.


What was the result of the CFD optimized ship propellers?


During the sea trials, the multipurpose vessels were tested extensively for areas such as propulsion, sailing characteristics and navigation. Concerning the ship propellers, the inland waterway vessels reached the calculated speed (and related fuel consumption) and at full speed a minimum of noise level and vibrations were observed.



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