Design optimisation of Propeller Boss Cap Fins for enhanced propeller performance

Kurt Mizzi, Yigit Kemal Demirel, Charlotte Banks, Osman Turan, Panagiotis Kaklis, Mehmet Atlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)
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Economic pressures and regulatory requirements have brought about a great interest in improving ship propulsion efficiency. This can be exercised by installing Energy Saving Devices (ESD) such as Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF). This paper demonstrates an approach for optimising PBCF by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. The conducted Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) CFD open water model tests were validated by comparison with experimental data until the simulation was deemed satisfactory within the capabilities and limitations of the model. A design and optimisation procedure was defined to analyse the impact of ESDs on propeller efficiency and then used to evaluate the influence of alternative geometric parameters and locations of the PBCF on the hub. This analysis was done at full scale using high fidelity CFD-based RANS methods. Outcomes of the study include a design and optimisation process that can be used for the analysis of other ESDs on the market. The influences of various PBCF geometry were examined with optimal solutions presented for the analysis case. Results indicated a net energy efficiency improvement of 1.3% contributing to a substantial minimisation of cost and energy consumption. A reduction in the hub vortex was also clearly identified and presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210–222
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Early online date31 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017


  • propulsion efficiency
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF)
  • optimisation
  • energy saving devices
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • reynolds averaged navier-stokes
  • ship energy efficiency


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