An Analysis on Hydrodynamic Loads for Surface-Piercing Propellers Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

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Virginia Tech

A surface piercing propeller (SPP) is a propeller that is partially submerged in water and is considered a possible solution to high-speed vessels (greater than 50 knots) where cavitation plays a vital role due to its ever-increasing detrimental effects. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a more prevalent solution in recent years due to lower costs and the ability to evaluate varying setups. However, Computational Fluid Dynamics has had problems accurately solving the hydrodynamic loads for an SPP as recently as a few years ago. Accurately predicting these loads is of great importance because it will allow future simulations to add more effects such as cavitation, shaft inclination effects, multiple propellers, and fluid-structure interaction. Using FINE/Marine, a CFD software specifically designed for marine applications simulations with the 841-B SPP model and changing the Froude number (Fn) and advance coefficient (J), an in-depth validation process and extending upon previous results found when combining CFD and surface-piercing propellers was performed. Several cases between J = 0.6 to J = 1 and Fn = 2 to Fn = 6 are first performed to validate the models against experiments, then more complex features such as multiple propellers and shaft inclination angles were included to extend upon previous work of CFD for surface-piercing propellers. This analysis of the results suggests that CFD models could genuinely be validated against current experimental setups, and therefore more complex additions could also be made and with stronger accuracy than in previous years.

Propellers, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Surface-Piercing Propeller, CFD, Thrust, Torque, Hydrodynamic Loads