Typical propeller design challenges

Propeller design for a typical naval application, e.g. an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), is about maximising efficiency without getting into problems with too high pressures pulses or cavitation erosion at high vessel speeds.

  • An OPV normally have a lot of power on a limited propeller diameter due to a high ship speed and draft/space limitations.
  • The set of requirements very often includes cavitation inception speed (CIS) and underwater radiated noise (URN) levels which put the propeller designers’ skill to a challenge.
  • Special design features is applied to the propeller tip to increase the cavitation inception speed (CIS) and air ejection is sometimes used as a mean to reduce the risk of erosive cavitation and URN levels