The completed project “Determination of the effective propeller inflow for inland navigation” clearly shows that the operating conditions of the propulsion units on different aft ships and water depths are extremely different. In modern inland navigation, ducted propellers are mainly used as propulsion units. The design of the propulsion systems often appears to be motivated by manufacturing or marketing considerations rather than the result of overall economic optimisation. Criteria such as efficiency, suitability for shallow draughts, stopping ability, investment costs, mechanical robustness and influence on river bed erosion sometimes require contradictory measures.
Therefore, the work of the three-year project focuses on systematic investigations of the complex interactions between ship, propulsor and waterway. For this purpose, numerous propulsion and open water tests with different arrangements are carried out. Following on from the propeller inflow project, two of the hull forms tested there will be built on a larger scale, so that additional information on scale effects can be obtained. In addition, one aft ship each with rudder propellers and the modern Flextunnel concept will be designed, built on a model scale and tested. The investigations are supplemented by CFD simulations and PIV measurements.
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