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Ventilation of Controllable Pitch Thrusters

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In oil and gas exploration and exploitation, many ships and rigs conduct station-keeping operations by the use of dynamic positioning (DP) systems or thruster-assisted position mooring (PM) systems. Such systems use thrusters to control the ship or rig position and heading. In severe weather conditions, thrusters may experience large and rapid changes in the propeller loading due to ventilation and in and out of water effects. To reduce the negative effects of this undesired dynamic loading on the mechanical components and the electrical power plant, the thruster controllers can locally compensate for the disturbances. To be able to design and verify such controllers, a model of the losses is needed. In this paper, experiments with ventilating controllable pitch propellers are presented. The results are used to develop a ventilation model for use in simulations. The model is verified by comparing simulations with time series from experiments. Scaling laws for ventilating propellers are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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  • Marine Technology is dedicated to James Kennedy, 1867-1936, marine engineer, and longtime member of the Society, in recognition and appreciation of his sincere and generous interest in furthering the art of ship design, shipbuilding, ship operation, and related activities.

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