A marine propeller blade is a complex hydrofoil design operating in various inflow situations. Each propeller design depends on the ship it propels and the specific conditions in which the ship sails. The requirements on the propeller design are high and hence the boundaries of blade designs need to be exploited. Cavitation is the most ubiquitous constraint for a designer. It is a common source for vibrations and destructive erosion. To find a good propeller design is about finding a compromise between competing objectives, like efficiency, and constraints.
The aim of this project is to improve the state of the art design procedure to utilize automated optimisation processes. This requires autonomous evaluation of the design variants and therefor the development of feasible tools and measurable quantities on constraints and objectives. The evaluation is carried out with viscous flows simulations coupled to a potential flow solver for the propeller to accomplish a large number of variants with reduced computational costs. In addition, we investigate response surface methods as surrogates. This will be merged in an optimisation routine fitted to the propeller design procedure.
Rolls Royce (part of the UTC), FRIENDSHIP-SYSTEMS