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Basic Principles of Ship Propulsion

Contents: Page

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Scope of this Paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Chapter 1
Ship Definitions and Hull Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• Ship types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• A ship’s load lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• Indication of a ship’s size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
• Description of hull forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
• Ship’s resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Chapter 2
Propeller Propulsion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• Propeller types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• Flow conditions around the propeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
• Efficiencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · · · · 11
• Propeller dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · · · · 13
• Operating conditions of a propeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Chapter 3
Engine Layout and Load Diagrams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Power functions and logarithmic scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Propulsion and engine running points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Engine layout diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
• Load diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
• Use of layout and load diagrams – examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
• Influence on engine running of
different types of ship resistance – summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Closing Remarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Basic Principles of Ship Propulsion

Introduction Scope of this Paper followed up by the relative heavy/light

running conditions which apply when
For the purpose of this paper, the term This paper is divided into three chapters the ship is sailing and subject to different
“ship” is used to denote a vehicle em- which, in principle, may be considered as types of extra resistance, like fouling,
ployed to transport goods and persons three separate papers but which also, heavy sea against, etc.
from one point to another over water. with advantage, may be read in close
Ship propulsion normally occurs with connection to each other. Therefore, Chapter 3, elucidates the importance
the help of a propeller, which is the some important information mentioned in of choosing the correct specified MCR
term most widely used in English, one chapter may well appear in another and optimising point of the main engine,
although the word “screw” is some- chapter, too. and thereby the engine’s load diagram
times seen, inter alia in combinations in consideration to the propeller’s design
such as a “twin-screw” propulsion plant. Chapter 1, describes the most elemen- point. The construction of the relevant
tary terms used to define ship sizes load diagram lines is described in detail
Today, the primary source of propeller and hull forms such as, for example, by means of several examples. Fig. 24
power is the diesel engine, and the power the ship’s displacement, deadweight, shows, for a ship with fixed pitch pro-
requirement and rate of revolution very design draught, length between per- peller, by means of a load diagram, the
much depend on the ship’s hull form pendiculars, block coefficient, etc. important influence of different types of
and the propeller design. Therefore, in Other ship terms described include the ship resistance on the engine’s contin-
order to arrive at a solution that is as effective towing resistance, consisting uous service rating.
optimal as possible, some general of frictional, residual and air resistance,
knowledge is essential as to the princi- and the influence of these resistances
pal ship and diesel engine parameters in service.
that influence the propulsion system.
Chapter 2, deals with ship propulsion
This paper will, in particular, attempt to and the flow conditions around the pro-
explain some of the most elementary peller(s). In this connection, the wake
terms used regarding ship types, fraction coefficient and thrust deduc-
ship’s dimensions and hull forms and tion coefficient, etc. are mentioned.
clarify some of the parameters pertain-
ing to hull resistance, propeller condi- The total power needed for the propel-
tions and the diesel engine’s load ler is found based on the above effec-
diagram. tive towing resistance and various
propeller and hull dependent efficien-
On the other hand, it is considered be- cies which are also described. A sum-
yond the scope of this publication to mary of the propulsion theory is shown
give an explanation of how propulsion in Fig. 6.
calculations as such are carried out, as
the calculation procedure is extremely The operating conditions of a propeller
complex. The reader is referred to the according to the propeller law valid for
specialised literature on this subject, for a propeller with fixed pitch are described
example as stated in “References”. for free sailing in calm weather, and

Category Class Type
Oil tanker Crude (oil) Carrier CC
Ship Definitions and Hull Tanker
Resistance Very Large Crude Carrier VLCC
Ultra Large Crude Carrier ULCC
Product Tanker
Ship types
Gas tanker Liquefied Natural Gas carrier LNG
Depending on the nature of their cargo,
and sometimes also the way the cargo Chemical tanker Liquefied Petroleum Gas carrier LPG
is loaded/unloaded, ships can be divided
into different categories, classes, and OBO Oil/Bulk/Ore carrier OBO
types, some of which are mentioned in
Table 1. Bulk carrier Bulk carrier
Container carrier
Container ship Container ship
The three largest categories of ships Roll On-Roll Off Ro-Ro
are container ships, bulk carriers (for General cargo
bulk goods such as grain, coal, ores, General cargo ship
etc.) and tankers, which again can be Coaster
divided into more precisely defined Reefer Reefer Refigerated cargo vessel
classes and types. Thus, tankers can
be divided into oil tankers, gas tankers Passenger ship
Cruise vessel
and chemical tankers, but there are
also combinations, e.g. oil/chemical
tankers. Table 1: Examples of ship types

Table 1 provides only a rough outline.

In reality there are many other combi- the risk of bad weather whereas, on the tropical seas is somewhat higher than
nations, such as “Multi-purpose bulk other hand, the freeboard draught for the summer freeboard draught.
container carriers”, to mention just one

A ship’s load lines

Painted halfway along the ship’s side

is the “Plimsoll Mark”, see Fig. 1. The
lines and letters of the Plimsoll Mark,
which conform to the freeboard rules D
laid down by the IMO (International
Maritime Organisation) and local au-
thorities, indicate the depth to which
the vessel may be safely loaded (the
depth varies according to the season Freeboard deck
D: Freeboard draught
and the salinity of the water).

There are, e.g. load lines for sailing in

freshwater and seawater, respectively, TF
with further divisions for tropical condi-
tions and summer and winter sailing. F T Tropical
According to the international freeboard S Summer
rules, the summer freeboard draught W Winter
for seawater is equal to the “Scantling WNA Winter - the North Atlantic
draught”, which is the term applied to Danish load mark
the ship’s draught when dimensioning
Freshwater Seawater
the hull.

The winter freeboard draught is less

than that valid for summer because of Fig. 1: Load lines – freeboard draught

Indication of a ship’s size

Displacement and deadweight

When a ship in loaded condition floats at
an arbitrary water line, its displacement is
equal to the relevant mass of water dis- AM
placed by the ship. Displacement is thus D
equal to the total weight, all told, of the
relevant loaded ship, normally in seawa-
ter with a mass density of 1.025 t/m3. BWL

Displacement comprises the ship’s

light weight and its deadweight, where
the deadweight is equal to the ship’s
loaded capacity, including bunkers and
other supplies necessary for the ship’s
propulsion. The deadweight at any time DF
thus represents the difference between
the actual displacement and the ship’s
light weight, all given in tons: LPP
deadweight = displacement – light weight.
Incidentally, the word “ton” does not
always express the same amount of Length between perpendiculars: LPP
weight. Besides the metric ton (1,000 Length on waterline: LWL
kg), there is the English ton (1,016 kg), Length overall: LOA
which is also called the “long ton”. A Breadth on waterline: BWL
“short ton” is approx. 907 kg. Draught: D = 1/2 (DF +DA)
Midship section area: Am
The light weight of a ship is not normally
used to indicate the size of a ship,
whereas the deadweight tonnage Fig. 2: Hull dimensions
(dwt), based on the ship’s loading ca-
pacity, including fuel and lube oils etc.
for operation of the ship, measured in
tons at scantling draught, often is. dwt/light Displ./dwt is the part of the ship’s hull which is
Ship type under the water line. The dimensions
weight ratio ratio
Sometimes, the deadweight tonnage below describing the hull form refer
may also refer to the design draught of Tanker and to the design draught, which is less
6 1.17
the ship but, if so, this will be mentioned. Bulk carrier than, or equal to, the scantling
Table 2 indicates the rule-of-thumb rela- Container ship
draught. The choice of the design
2.5-3.0 1.33-1.4
tionship between the ship’s displacement, draught depends on the degree of
deadweight tonnage (summer freeboard/ load, i.e. whether, in service, the ship
scantling draught) and light weight. Table 2: Examples of relationship between dis- will be lightly or heavily loaded. Gen-
placement, deadweight tonnage and light weight erally, the most frequently occurring
A ship’s displacement can also be ex- draught between the fully-loaded and
pressed as the volume of displaced These measurements express the size the ballast draught is used.
water ∇, i.e. in m3. of the internal volume of the ship in ac-
cordance with the given rules for such Ship’s lengths LOA, LWL, and LPP
Gross register tons measurements, and are extensively The overall length of the ship LOA is
Without going into detail, it should be used for calculating harbour and canal normally of no consequence when
mentioned that there are also such dues/charges. calculating the hull’s water resistance.
measurements as Gross Register Tons The factors used are the length of the
(GRT), and Net Register Tons (NRT) Description of hull forms waterline LWL and the so-called length
where 1 register ton = 100 English cubic between perpendiculars LPP. The di-
feet, or 2.83 m3. It is evident that the part of the ship mensions referred to are shown in
which is of significance for its propulsion Fig. 2.

The length between perpendiculars is
the length between the foremost per-
pendicular, i.e. usually a vertical line
through the stem’s intersection with
the waterline, and the aftmost perpen- Waterline plane AM D
dicular which, normally, coincides with
the rudder axis. Generally, this length is
slightly less than the waterline length,
and is often expressed as: L PP
LPP = 0.97 × LWL BW

Draught D
The ship’s draught D (often T is used in :
Volume of displacement
literature) is defined as the vertical dis-
tance from the waterline to that point of Waterline area : AWL
the hull which is deepest in the water,
see Figs. 2 and 3. The foremost draught Block coefficient, LWL based : CB =
DF and aftmost draught DA are normally LWL x BWL x D
the same when the ship is in the loaded Midship section coefficient : CM =
condition. BWL x D
Longitudinal prismatic coefficient : CP =
Breadth on waterline BWL AM x LWL
Another important factor is the hull’s Waterplane area coefficient AWL
largest breadth on the waterline BWL,
see Figs. 2 and 3.

Block coefficient CB Fig. 3: Hull coefficients of a ship

Various form coefficients are used to
express the shape of the hull. The most
important of these coefficients is the AWL
block coefficient CB, which is defined service speeds, on different types of CWL =
as the ratio between the displacement ships. It shows that large block coeffi- LWL × BWL
volume ∇ and the volume of a box with cients correspond to low speeds and
dimensions LWL × BWL × D, see Fig. 3, i.e.: vice versa. Generally, the waterplane area coeffi-
cient is some 0.10 higher than the block
∇ Approxi- coefficient, i.e.:
CB = Block
LWL × BWL × D Ship type coefficient
mate ship
CWL ≅ CB + 0.10.
speed V
in knots
In the case cited above, the block co- This difference will be slightly larger on
efficient refers to the length on water- Lighter 0.90 5 – 10 fast vessels with small block coefficients
line LWL. However, shipbuilders often use Bulk carrier where the stern is also partly immersed
0.80 – 0.85 12 – 17
block coefficient CB, PP based on the in the water and thus becomes part of
length between perpendiculars, LPP, in Tanker 0.80 – 0.85 12 –16 the ”waterplane” area.
which case the block coefficient will, as a
General cargo 0.55 – 0.75 13 – 22
rule, be slightly larger because, as previ- Midship section coefficient CM
ously mentioned, LPP is normally slightly Container ship 0.50 – 0.70 14 – 26 A further description of the hull form is
less than LWL. provided by the midship section coeffi-
Ferry boat 0.50 – 0.70 15 – 26
∇ cient CM, which expresses the ratio be-
CB , PP = tween the immersed midship section
LPP × BWL × D Table 3: Examples of block coefficients area AM (midway between the foremost
and the aftmost perpendiculars) and the
A small block coefficient means less re- Water plane area coefficient CWL product of the ship’s breadth BWL and
sistance and, consequently, the possibil- The water plane area coefficient CWL draught D, see Fig. 3, i.e.:
ity of attaining higher speeds. expresses the ratio between the ves-
sel’s waterline area AWL and the product AM
Table 3 shows some examples of block of the length LWL and the breadth BWL of CM =
coefficient sizes, and the pertaining BWL × D
the ship on the waterline, see Fig. 3, i.e.:

For bulkers and tankers, this coefficient in the selection of the correct propeller and resistance coefficients C and, thus, the
is in the order of 0.98-0.99, and for in the subsequent choice of main engine. pertaining source-resistances R. In
container ships in the order of 0.97-0.98. practice, the calculation of a particular
General ship’s resistance can be verified by
Longitudinal prismatic coefficient CP A ship’s resistance is particularly influ- testing a model of the relevant ship in
The longitudinal prismatic coefficient enced by its speed, displacement, and a towing tank.
CP expresses the ratio between dis- hull form. The total resistance RT, con-
placement volume ∇ and the product sists of many source-resistances R Frictional resistance RF
of the midship frame section area AM which can be divided into three main The frictional resistance RF of the hull
and the length of the waterline LWL, groups, viz.: depends on the size of the hull’s wet-
see also Fig. 3, i.e.: ted area AS, and on the specific fric-
1) Frictional resistance tional resistance coefficient CF. The
∇ ∇ CB 2) Residual resistance friction increases with fouling of the
Cp = = = 3) Air resistance hull, i.e. by the growth of, i.a. algae,
AM × LWL C M × BWL × D × LWL CM sea grass and barnacles.
The influence of frictional and residual
As can be seen, CP is not an independ- resistances depends on how much of An attempt to avoid fouling is made by
ent form coefficient, but is entirely de- the hull is below the waterline, while the the use of anti-fouling hull paints to
pendent on the block coefficient CB influence of air resistance depends on prevent the hull from becoming
and the midship section coefficient CM. how much of the ship is above the wa- “long-haired”, i.e. these paints reduce
terline. In view of this, air resistance will the possibility of the hull becoming
Longitudinal Centre of Buoyancy LCB have a certain effect on container ships fouled by living organisms. The paints
The Longitudinal Centre of Buoyancy which carry a large number of contain- containing TBT (tributyl tin) as their
(LCB) expresses the position of the ers on the deck. principal biocide, which is very toxic,
centre of buoyancy and is defined as have dominated the market for decades,
the distance between the centre of Water with a speed of V and a density but the IMO ban of TBT for new appli-
buoyancy and the mid-point between r
of has a dynamic pressure of: cations from 1 January, 2003, and a
the ship’s foremost and aftmost perpen- full ban from 1 January, 2008, may in-
diculars. The distance is normally stated ½× r × V 2 (Bernoulli’s law) volve the use of new (and maybe not
as a percentage of the length between as effective) alternatives, probably cop-
the perpendiculars, and is positive if Thus, if water is being completely per-based anti-fouling paints.
the centre of buoyancy is located to stopped by a body, the water will react
the fore of the mid-point between the on the surface of the body with the dy- When the ship is propelled through the
perpendiculars, and negative if located namic pressure, resulting in a dynamic water, the frictional resistance increases
to the aft of the mid-point. For a ship force on the body. at a rate that is virtually equal to the
designed for high speeds, e.g. container square of the vessel’s speed.
ships, the LCB will, normally, be nega- This relationship is used as a basis
tive, whereas for slow-speed ships, when calculating or measuring the Frictional resistance represents a con-
such as tankers and bulk carriers, it will source-resistances R of a ship’s hull, siderable part of the ship’s resistance,
normally be positive. The LCB is gener- by means of dimensionless resistance often some 70-90% of the ship’s total
ally between -3% and +3%. coefficients C. Thus C are related to resistance for low-speed ships (bulk
the reference force K, defined as the carriers and tankers), and sometimes
Fineness ratio CLD force which the dynamic pressure of less than 40% for high-speed ships
The length/displacement ratio or fine- water with the ship’s speed V exerts on (cruise liners and passenger ships) [4]. The
ness ratio, CLD, is defined as the ratio a surface which is equal to the hull’s frictional resistance is found as follows:
between the ship’s waterline length LWL, wetted area AS. The rudder’s surface is
and the length of a cube with a volume also included in the wetted area. The RF = CF × K
equal to the displacement volume, i.e.: general data for resistance calculations
is thus: Residual resistance RR
LWL Residual resistance RR comprises wave
C LD = 3
∇ r
Reference force: K = ½ × × V 2 × AS resistance and eddy resistance. Wave
and source resistances: R = C × K resistance refers to the energy loss
caused by waves created by the vessel
Ship’s resistance On the basis of many experimental during its propulsion through the water,
tank tests, and with the help of pertain- while eddy resistance refers to the loss
To move a ship, it is first necessary to ing dimensionless hull parameters, caused by flow separation which cre-
overcome resistance, i.e. the force work- some of which have already been dis- ates eddies, particularly at the aft end
ing against its propulsion. The calculation cussed, methods have been estab- of the ship.
of this resistance R plays a significant role lished for calculating all the necessary

Wave resistance at low speeds is pro- through the water, i.e. to tow the ship The right column is valid for low-speed
portional to the square of the speed, at the speed V, is then: ships like bulk carriers and tankers, and
but increases much faster at higher the left column is valid for very high-speed
speeds. In principle, this means that a P E = V × RT ships like cruise liners and ferries. Con-
speed barrier is imposed, so that a fur- tainer ships may be placed in between
ther increase of the ship’s propulsion The power delivered to the propeller, the two columns.
power will not result in a higher speed PD, in order to move the ship at speed
as all the power will be converted into V is, however, somewhat larger. This is The main reason for the difference
wave energy. The residual resistance due, in particular, to the flow conditions between the two columns is, as earlier
normally represents 8-25% of the total around the propeller and the propeller mentioned, the wave resistance. Thus,
resistance for low-speed ships, and up efficiency itself, the influences of which in general all the resistances are pro-
to 40-60% for high-speed ships [4]. are discussed in the next chapter portional to the square of the speed,
which deals with Propeller Propulsion. but for higher speeds the wave resis-
Incidentally, shallow waters can also tance increases much faster, involving
have great influence on the residual Total ship resistance in general a higher part of the total resistance.
resistance, as the displaced water un- When dividing the residual resistance
der the ship will have greater difficulty into wave and eddy resistance, as earlier This tendency is also shown in Fig. 5
in moving aftwards. described, the distribution of the total ship for a 600 teu container ship, originally
towing resistance RT could also, as a designed for the ship speed of 15 knots.
The procedure for calculating the spe- guideline, be stated as shown in Fig. 4. Without any change to the hull design,
cific residual resistance coefficient CR is
described in specialised literature [2]
and the residual resistance is found as
Type of resistance % of RT
R R = CR × K High Low
speed speed
Air resistance RA ship ship
In calm weather, air resistance is, in prin-
ciple, proportional to the square of the RF = Friction 45 - 90
ship’s speed, and proportional to the RW = Wave 40 - 5
cross-sectional area of the ship above the RE = Eddy 5- 3
waterline. Air resistance normally repre- RA = Air 10 - 2
sents about 2% of the total resistance.
For container ships in head wind, the
air resistance can be as much as 10%.
The air resistance can, similar to the V
foregoing resistances, be expressed as
RA = CA × K, but is sometimes based
on 90% of the dynamic pressure of air
with a speed of V, i.e.:

RA = 0.90 × ½ × rair
× V × Aair
Ship speed V RW
where air is the density of the air, and
Aair is the cross-sectional area of the
vessel above the water [4].

Towing resistance RT
and effective (towing) power PE RE
The ship’s total towing resistance RT is
thus found as: RF
RT = RF + R R + R A

The corresponding effective (towing)

power, PE, necessary to move the ship
Fig. 4: Total ship towing resistance RT = RF + RW + RE + RA

On the North Atlantic routes, the first
kW Propulsion power "Wave wall" percentage corresponds to summer
8,000 navigation and the second percentage
to winter navigation.

However, analysis of trading conditions

6,000 New service point for a typical 140,000 dwt bulk carrier
shows that on some routes, especially
Japan-Canada when loaded, the in-
creased resistance (sea margin) can
4,000 reach extreme values up to 220%, with
an average of about 100%.
Normal service point
Unfortunately, no data have been pub-
2,000 lished on increased resistance as a
function of type and size of vessel. The
larger the ship, the less the relative in-
crease of resistance due to the sea.
0 On the other hand, the frictional resis-
tance of the large, full-bodied ships will
10 15 20 knots
very easily be changed in the course of
Ship speed time because of fouling.
Power and speed relationship for a 600 TEU container ship
In practice, the increase of resistance
caused by heavy weather depends on
the current, the wind, as well as the
Fig. 5: The “wave wall” ship speed barrier wave size, where the latter factor may
have great influence. Thus, if the wave
size is relatively high, the ship speed
will be somewhat reduced even when
the ship speed for a sister ship was re- which means that the frictional resist- sailing in fair seas.
quested to be increased to about 17.6 ance will be greater. It must also be
knots. However, this would lead to a considered that the propeller surface
In principle, the increased resistance
relatively high wave resistance, requir- can become rough and fouled. The to-
caused by heavy weather could be
ing a doubling of the necessary propul- tal resistance, caused by fouling, may
related to:
sion power. increase by 25-50% throughout the
lifetime of a ship.
a) wind and current against, and
A further increase of the propulsion
b) heavy waves,
power may only result in a minor ship Resistance will also increase because
speed increase, as most of the extra of sea, wind, and current. The resis-
power will be converted into wave en- tance when navigating in head-on sea but in practice it will be difficult to dis-
ergy, i.e. a ship speed barrier valid for could, in general, increase by as much tinguish between these factors.
the given hull design is imposed by as 50-100% of the total ship resistance
what we could call a “wave wall”, see in calm weather.
Fig. 5. A modification of the hull lines,
suiting the higher ship speed, is neces-
Estimates of average increase in
resistance for ships navigating the
main routes:
Increase of ship resistance in service,
Ref. [1], page 244 North Atlantic route,
During the operation of the ship, the navigation westward 25-35%
paint film on the hull will break down.
Erosion will start, and marine plants North Atlantic route,
and barnacles, etc. will grow on the navigation eastward 20-25%
surface of the hull. Bad weather, per-
haps in connection with an inappropri- Europe-Australia 20-25%
ate distribution of the cargo, can be a
reason for buckled bottom plates. The Europe-East Asia 20-25%
hull has been fouled and will no longer
The Pacific routes 20-30%
have a “technically smooth” surface,

Chapter 2
Velocities Power
Propeller Propulsion Ship’s speed : V Effective (Towing) power : PE = R T x V
Arriving water velocity to propeller : VA Thrust power delivered
The traditional agent employed to (Speed of advance of propeller)
by the propeller to water : PT = PE / H

move a ship is a propeller, sometimes Effective wake velocity : VW = V _ V A

Power delivered to propeller : PD = P T / B

two and, in very rare cases, more than V _ VA

Wake fraction coefficient : w= Brake power of main engine : PB = PD / S
two. The necessary propeller thrust T V
required to move the ship at speed V
Forces Efficiencies
is normally greater than the pertaining
towing resistance RT, and the flow-related Towing resistance : RT 1_t
Hull efficiency : H =
reasons are, amongst other reasons, Thrust force : T 1_w
explained in this chapter. See also Fig. 6, Thrust deduction fraction : F = T _ RT Relative rotative efficiency : R

where all relevant velocity, force, power _ Propeller efficiency - open water :
: t = T RT
Thrust deduction coefficient
and efficiency parameters are shown. T Propeller efficiency - behind hull : B = 0 x R

Propulsive efficiency : D = H x B

Shaft efficiency : S

Propeller types V W VA Total efficiency : T

Propellers may be divided into the follow- T = ---- = ---- x ---- x ---- = H x Bx S = H x 0 x R x S
ing two main groups, see also Fig. 7:

• Fixed pitch propeller (FP-propeller)

• Controllable pitch propeller
(CP-propeller) F RT
Propellers of the FP-type are cast in
one block and normally made of a copper
alloy. The position of the blades, and
thereby the propeller pitch, is once and
for all fixed, with a given pitch that can- PT PD PB PE
not be changed in operation. This
means that when operating in, for ex-
ample, heavy weather conditions, the Fig. 6: The propulsion of a ship – theory
propeller performance curves, i.e. the
combination of power and speed
(r/min) points, will change according to
the physical laws, and the actual pro-
peller curve cannot be changed by the
crew. Most ships which do not need a
particularly good manoeuvrability are
Fixed pitch propeller (FP-Propeller) Controllable pitch propeller (CP-Propeller)
equipped with an FP-propeller.

Propellers of the CP-type have a rela-

tively larger hub compared with the
FP-propellers because the hub has to
have space for a hydraulically activated
mechanism for control of the pitch (an-
gle) of the blades. The CP-propeller is
relatively expensive, maybe up to 3-4 Monobloc with fixed
times as expensive as a corresponding propeller blades Hub with a mechanism
FP-propeller. Furthermore, because of (copper alloy) for control of the pitch
the relatively larger hub, the propeller of the blades
efficiency is slightly lower. (hydraulically activated)

CP-propellers are mostly used for

Ro-Ro ships, shuttle tankers and simi-
lar ships that require a high degree of Fig. 7: Propeller types

manoeuvrability. For ordinary ships like Thrust deduction coefficient t
container ships, bulk carriers and crude VW V − V A The rotation of the propeller causes the
w= =
oil tankers sailing for a long time in nor- V V water in front of it to be “sucked” back
mal sea service at a given ship speed, VA towards the propeller. This results in an
( you get =1 − w )
it will, in general, be a waste of money V extra resistance on the hull normally
to install an expensive CP-propeller in- called “augment of resistance” or, if re-
stead of an FP-propeller. Furthermore, a The value of the wake fraction coefficient lated to the total required thrust force T
CP-propeller is more complicated, invol- depends largely on the shape of the on the propeller, “thrust deduction frac-
ving a higher risk of problems in service. hull, but also on the propeller’s location tion” F, see Fig. 6. This means that the
and size, and has great influence on thrust force T on the propeller has to
the propeller’s efficiency. overcome both the ship’s resistance RT
Flow conditions around the propeller and this “loss of thrust” F.
The propeller diameter or, even better,
Wake fraction coefficient w the ratio between the propeller diameter The thrust deduction fraction F may be
When the ship is moving, the friction of d and the ship’s length LWL has some expressed in dimensionless form by
the hull will create a so-called friction influence on the wake fraction coeffi- means of the thrust deduction coeffi-
belt or boundary layer of water around cient, as d/LWL gives a rough indication cient t, which is defined as:
the hull. In this friction belt the velocity of the degree to which the propeller
of the water on the surface of the hull is works in the hull’s wake field. Thus, the F T − RT
equal to that of the ship, but is reduced larger the ratio d/LWL, the lower w will t= =
with its distance from the surface of the be. The wake fraction coefficient w in- T T
hull. At a certain distance from the hull creases when the hull is fouled. ( you get =1 − t )
and, per definition, equal to the outer T
“surface” of the friction belt, the water For ships with one propeller, the wake
velocity is equal to zero. fraction coefficient w is normally in the The thrust deduction coefficient t can
region of 0.20 to 0.45, corresponding be calculated by using calculation
The thickness of the friction belt increases to a flow velocity to the propeller VA of models set up on the basis of research
with its distance from the fore end of 0.80 to 0.55 of the ship’s speed V. The carried out on different models.
the hull. The friction belt is therefore larger the block coefficient, the larger is
thickest at the aft end of the hull and the wake fraction coefficient. On ships In general, the size of the thrust deduc-
this thickness is nearly proportional to with two propellers and a conventional tion coefficient t increases when the
the length of the ship, Ref. [3]. This aftbody form of the hull, the propellers wake fraction coefficient w increases.
means that there will be a certain wake will normally be positioned outside the The shape of the hull may have a sig-
velocity caused by the friction along the friction belt, for which reason the wake nificant influence, e.g. a bulbous stem
sides of the hull. Additionally, the ship’s fraction coefficient w will, in this case, can, under certain circumstances (low
displacement of water will also cause be a great deal lower. However, for a ship speeds), reduce t.
wake waves both fore and aft. All this twin-skeg ship with two propellers, the
involves that the propeller behind the coefficient w will be almost unchanged The size of the thrust deduction coeffi-
hull will be working in a wake field. (or maybe slightly lower) compared cient t for a ship with one propeller is,
with the single-propeller case. normally, in the range of 0.12 to 0.30,
Therefore, and mainly originating from as a ship with a large block coefficient
the friction wake, the water at the pro- Incidentally, a large wake fraction co- has a large thrust deduction coefficient.
peller will have an effective wake veloc- efficient increases the risk of propeller For ships with two propellers and a
ity Vw which has the same direction as cavitation, as the distribution of the conventional aftbody form of the hull,
the ship’s speed V, see Fig. 6. This water velocity around the propeller is the thrust deduction coefficient t will be
means that the velocity of arriving water generally very inhomogeneous under much less as the propellers’ “sucking”
VA at the propeller, (equal to the speed such conditions. occurs further away from the hull.
of advance of the propeller) given as However, for a twin-skeg ship with two
the average velocity over the propeller’s A more homogeneous wake field for propellers, the coefficient t will be almost
disk area is Vw lower than the ship’s the propeller, also involving a higher unchanged (or maybe slightly lower)
speed V. speed of advance VA of the propeller, compared with the single-propeller case.
may sometimes be needed and can be
The effective wake velocity at the pro- obtained in several ways, e.g. by hav-
peller is therefore equal to Vw = V – VA ing the propellers arranged in nozzles, Efficiencies
and may be expressed in dimensionless below shields, etc. Obviously, the best
form by means of the wake fraction method is to ensure, already at the de- h
Hull efficiency H
coefficient w. The normally used wake sign stage, that the aft end of the hull is h
The hull efficiency H is defined as the
fraction coefficient w given by Taylor is shaped in such a way that the opti- ratio between the effective (towing)
defined as: mum wake field is obtained. power PE = RT × V, and the thrust power

which the propeller delivers to the water
PT = T × VA, i.e.: Propeller Large tankers Small tankers Reefers
efficiency >150,000 DWT 20,000 DWT Container ships
PE RT × V RT / T 1− t
h H
= = =
PT T × V A V A / V
= o
1− w 0.7

For a ship with one propeller, the hull

efficiency H is usually in the range of 0.6
1.1 to 1.4, with the high value for ships
with high block coefficients. For ships n ( revs./s )
with two propellers and a conventional 0.5 1.66
aftbody form of the hull, the hull effi-
ciency H is approx. 0.95 to 1.05, again 2.00
with the high value for a high block co- 0.4
efficient. However, for a twin-skeg ship
with two propellers, the hull coefficient
will be almost unchanged compared 0.3
with the single-propeller case.

Open water propeller efficiency O h

Propeller efficiency O is related to
working in open water, i.e. the propel-
ler works in a homogeneous wake field 0.1
with no hull in front of it.

The propeller efficiency depends, es- 0

pecially, on the speed of advance VA, 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
thrust force T, rate of revolution n, di- VA
Advance number J =
ameter d and, moreover, i.a. on the de- nxd
sign of the propeller, i.e. the number of
blades, disk area ratio, and pitch/diam-
eter ratio – which will be discussed Fig. 8: Obtainable propeller efficiency – open water, Ref. [1], page 213
later in this chapter. The propeller effi-
ciency O can vary between approx.
0.35 and 0.75, with the high value be-
ing valid for propellers with a high
speed of advance VA, Ref. [1]. h
affected by the R factor – called the ter, and the power PD, which is deliv-
propeller’s relative rotative efficiency. ered to the propeller, i.e. the propeller
Fig. 8 shows the obtainable propeller h
efficiency B for a propeller working
efficiency O shown as a function of the On ships with a single propeller the behind the ship, is defined as:
speed of advance VA, which is given in h
rotative efficiency R is, normally, around
dimensionless form as: 1.0 to 1.07, in other words, the rotation
of the water has a beneficial effect. The h =
= h × h
B o R
VA rotative efficiency R on a ship with a
J= conventional hull shape and with two
n× d
propellers will normally be less, approx. Propulsive efficiency D h
0.98, whereas for a twin-skeg ship with The propulsive efficiency D, which h
where J is the advance number of the two propellers, the rotative efficiency R h must not be confused with the open
propeller. will be almost unchanged. water propeller efficiency O, is equal to h
the ratio between the effective (towing)
Relative rotative efficiency R h In combination with w and t, R is prob- h power PE and the necessary power
The actual velocity of the water flowing ably often being used to adjust the re- delivered to the propeller PD, i.e.:
to the propeller behind the hull is nei- sults of model tank tests to the theory.
ther constant nor at right angles to the
propeller’s disk area, but has a kind of h
Propeller efficiency B working behind h D
= ×
rotational flow. Therefore, compared the ship
with when the propeller is working in The ratio between the thrust power PT, = h ×h =h ×h ×h
open water, the propeller’s efficiency is which the propeller delivers to the wa-

As can be seen, the propulsive efficiency Propeller dimensions Two-bladed propellers are used on
h is equal to the product of the hull small ships, and 4, 5 and 6-bladed
efficiency H, the open water propeller Propeller diameter d propellers are used on large ships.
efficiency O, and the relative rotative With a view to obtaining the highest Ships using the MAN B&W two-stroke
efficiency R, although the latter has h
possible propulsive efficiency D, the engines are normally large-type vessels
less significance. largest possible propeller diameter d which use 4-bladed propellers. Ships
will, normally, be preferred. There are, with a relatively large power requirement
In this connection, one can be led to however, special conditions to be con- and heavily loaded propellers, e.g. con-
believe that a hull form giving a high sidered. For one thing, the aftbody form tainer ships, may need 5 or 6-bladed
wake fraction coefficient w, and hence of the hull can vary greatly depending on propellers. For vibrational reasons, pro-
a high hull efficiency H, will also provide type of ship and ship design, for another, pellers with certain numbers of blades
the best propulsive efficiency D. h the necessary clearance between the may be avoided in individual cases in
tip of the propeller and the hull will de- order not to give rise to the excitation
However, as the open water propeller pend on the type of propeller. of natural frequencies in the ship’s hull
efficiency O is also greatly dependent or superstructure, Ref. [3].
on the speed of advance VA, cf. Fig. 8, For bulkers and tankers, which are often
that is decreasing with increased w, sailing in ballast condition, there are Disk area coefficient
the propulsive efficiency D will not, frequent demands that the propeller The disk area coefficient – referred to in
generally, improve with increasing w, shall be fully immersed also in this con- older literature as expanded blade area
quite often the opposite effect is obtained. dition, giving some limitation to the pro- ratio – defines the developed surface
peller size. This propeller size limitation area of the propeller in relation to its
Generally, the best propulsive efficiency is not particularly valid for container disk area. A factor of 0.55 is considered
is achieved when the propeller works in ships as they rarely sail in ballast condi- as being good. The disk area coefficient
a homogeneous wake field. tion. All the above factors mean that an of traditional 4-bladed propellers is of
exact propeller diameter/design draught little significance, as a higher value will
Shaft efficiency S h ratio d/D cannot be given here but, as only lead to extra resistance on the
The shaft efficiency S depends, i.a. on a rule-of-thumb, the below mentioned propeller itself and, thus, have little ef-
the alignment and lubrication of the approximations of the diameter/design fect on the final result.
shaft bearings, and on the reduction draught ratio d/D can be presented,
gear, if installed. and a large diameter d will, normally, For ships with particularly heavy-loaded
result in a low rate of revolution n. propellers, often 5 and 6-bladed pro-
Shaft efficiency is equal to the ratio be- pellers, the coefficient may have a
tween the power PD delivered to the Bulk carrier and tanker: higher value. On warships it can be as
propeller and the brake power PB deliv- high as 1.2.
ered by the main engine, i.e. d/D < approximately 0.65
Pitch diameter ratio p/d
The pitch diameter ratio p/d, expresses
h =
Container ship:
the ratio between the propeller’s pitch
d/D < approximately 0.74 p and its diameter d, see Fig. 10. The
pitch p is the distance the propeller
The shaft efficiency is normally around For strength and production reasons, “screws” itself forward through the wa-
0.985, but can vary between 0.96 and the propeller diameter will generally not ter per revolution, providing that there
0.995. exceed 10.0 metres and a power out- is no slip – see also the next section
put of about 90,000 kW. The largest- and Fig. 10. As the pitch can vary
Total efficiency T h diameter propeller manufactured so far along the blade’s radius, the ratio is
The total efficiency T, which is equal to is of 11.0 metres and has four propeller
normally related to the pitch at 0.7 × r,
where r = d/2 is the propeller’s radius.
the ratio between the effective (towing)
power PE, and the necessary brake
power PB delivered by the main engine, Number of propeller blades To achieve the best propulsive efficiency
can be expressed thus: Propellers can be manufactured with 2, for a given propeller diameter, an optimum
3, 4, 5 or 6 blades. The fewer the num- pitch/diameter ratio is to be found,
ber of blades, the higher the propeller which again corresponds to a particu-
h T
= ×
efficiency will be. However, for reasons lar design rate of revolution. If, for
of strength, propellers which are to be instance, a lower design rate of revolution
= h ´h =h ´h ´h ´h
subjected to heavy loads cannot be
manufactured with only two or three
is desired, the pitch/diameter ratio has
to be increased, and vice versa, at the
blades. cost of efficiency. On the other hand, if
a lower design rate of revolution is de-
sired, and the ship’s draught permits,
the choice of a larger propeller diame-

ter may permit such a lower design rate ISO 484/1 – 1981 (CE) The price of the propeller, of course,
of revolution and even, at the same time, depends on the selected accuracy
increase the propulsive efficiency. Mean pitch class, with the lowest price for class III.
Class for propel- However, it is not recommended to
Propeller coefficients J, KT and KQ ler use class III, as this class has a too
Propeller theory is based on models S Very high accuracy +/– 0.5 % high tolerance. This again means that
but, to facilitate the general use of this I High accuracy +/– 0.75 % the mean pitch tolerance should nor-
theory, certain dimensionless propeller mally be less than +/– 1.0 %.
coefficients have been introduced in re- II Medium accuracy +/– 1.00 %
lation to the diameter d, the rate of rev- III Wide tolerances +/– 3.00 % The manufacturing accuracy tolerance
olution n, and the water’s mass density corresponds to a propeller speed toler-
r . The three most important of these
Table 4: Manufacturing accuracy classes
ance of max. +/– 1.0 %. When also in-
coefficients are mentioned below. of a propeller
corporating the influence of the tolerance
on the wake field of the hull, the total
The advance number of the propeller J propeller tolerance on the rate of revo-
is, as earlier mentioned, a dimensionless Manufacturing accuracy of the propeller lution can be up to +/– 2.0 %. This tol-
expression of the propeller’s speed of Before the manufacturing of the propeller, erance has also to be borne in mind
advance VA. the desired accuracy class standard of when considering the operating condi-
the propeller must be chosen by the tions of the propeller in heavy weather.
VA customer. Such a standard is, for ex-
J= ample, ISO 484/1 – 1981 (CE), which Influence of propeller diameter and
n× d pitch/diameter ratio on propulsive
has four different “Accuracy classes”,
see Table 4. efficiency D.
The thrust force T, is expressed As already mentioned, the highest pos-
dimensionless, with the help of the Each of the classes, among other de- sible propulsive efficiency required to
thrust coefficient KT, as tails, specifies the maximum allowable provide a given ship speed is obtained
tolerance on the mean design pitch of with the largest possible propeller dia-
T the manufactured propeller, and meter d, in combination with the corre-
KT =
r× n 2
×d4 thereby the tolerance on the correspond-
ing propeller speed (rate of revolution).
sponding, optimum pitch/diameter ra-
tio p/d.
and the propeller torque

2 ×np Shaft power
80,000 dwt crude oil tanker
Design draught = 12.2 m
9,500 Ship speed = 14.5 kn
is expressed dimensionless with the
help of the torque coefficient KQ, as 9,400 p/d
d = Propeller diameter
d 0.50
p/d = Pitch/diameter ratio p/d
9,300 p/d 6.6 m
KQ =
× n2 × d 5 9,200
6.8 m
9,100 0.95 0.68
The propeller efficiency O can be cal-h 9,000 0.90
culated with the help of the above-men- 7.0 m Power and speed curve
tioned coefficients, because, as previously 0.85
mentioned, the propeller efficiency O is h 8,900
0.80 7.2 m
0.60 for the given propeller
diameter d = 7.2 m with
defined as: 8,800 0.75 0.65 different p/d
T × VA 8,700 7.4 m
h O = PP
Q ×2 × n KQ 2
p 8,600 d
0.71 Power and speed curve
for various propeller
D p/d diameters d with
8,500 optimum p/d
Propeller speed
With the help of special and very com-
plicated propeller diagrams, which 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 r/min
contain, i.a. J, KT and KQ curves, it is
possible to find/calculate the propeller’s
dimensions, efficiency, thrust, power, etc. Fig. 9: Propeller design – influence of diameter and pitch

As an example for an 80,000 dwt crude Pitch p
oil tanker, with a service ship speed of
14.5 knots and a maximum possible Slip
propeller diameter of 7.2 m, this influence
is shown in Fig. 9.

According to the blue curve, the maxi-

mum possible propeller diameter of 7.2 0.7 x r
m may have the optimum pitch/diame- d
ter ratio of 0.70, and the lowest possi-
ble shaft power of 8,820 kW at 100
r/min. If the pitch for this diameter is r n
changed, the propulsive efficiency will
be reduced, i.e. the necessary shaft
power will increase, see the red curve.

The blue curve shows that if a bigger V or VA Sxpxn

propeller diameter of 7.4 m is possible,
the necessary shaft power will be re- pxn
duced to 8,690 kW at 94 r/min, i.e. the
bigger the propeller, the lower the opti- pxn_V V
The apparent slip ratio : SA = =1_
mum propeller speed. pxn pxn
p x n _ VA VA
The red curve also shows that propul- The real slip ratio : SR = =1_
pxn pxn
sion-wise it will always be an advan-
tage to choose the largest possible
propeller diameter, even though the Fig. 10: Movement of a ship´s propeller, with pitch p and slip ratio S
optimum pitch/diameter ratio would
involve a too low propeller speed (in rela-
tion to the required main engine speed). The apparent slip ratio SA, which is The apparent slip ratio SA, which is cal-
Thus, when using a somewhat lower dimensionless, is defined as: culated by the crew, provides useful
pitch/diameter ratio, compared with the knowledge as it gives an impression of
optimum ratio, the propeller/ engine p × n−V V the loads applied to the propeller under
speed may be increased and will only SA = =1− different operating conditions. The ap-
p× n p× n
cause a minor extra power increase. parent slip ratio increases when the

Operating conditions of a propeller

Pitch p
Velocity of corkscrew: V = p x n
Slip ratio S
If the propeller had no slip, i.e. if the
water which the propeller “screws”
itself through did not yield (i.e. if the
water did not accelerate aft), the pro-
peller would move forward at a speed
of V = p × n, where n is the propeller’s
rate of revolution, see Fig. 10. V

The similar situation is shown in Fig. 11 n

for a cork screw, and because the cork
is a solid material, the slip is zero and,
therefore, the cork screw always moves
forward at a speed of V = p × n. How-
ever, as the water is a fluid and does
yield (i.e. accelerate aft), the propeller’s Corkscrew Cork Wine bottle
apparent speed forward decreases
with its slip and becomes equal to the
ship’s speed V, and its apparent slip
can thus be expressed as p × n – V. Fig. 11: Movement of a corkscrew, without slip

vessel sails against the wind or waves, sonable relationship to be used for esti- and heavy weather). These diagrams us-
in shallow waters, when the hull is mations in the normal ship speed range ing logarithmic scales and straight lines
fouled, and when the ship accelerates. could be as follows: are described in detail in Chapter 3.
Under increased resistance, this in-
volves that the propeller speed (rate of • For large high-speed ships like con- Propeller performance in general at
revolution) has to be increased in order tainer vessels: P = c × V 4.5 increased ship resistance
to maintain the required ship speed. The difference between the above-men-
• For medium-sized, medium-speed tioned light and heavy running propeller
The real slip ratio will be greater than ships like feeder container ships, curves may be explained by an exam-
the apparent slip ratio because the real reefers, RoRo ships, etc.: P = c × V 4.0 ple, see Fig. 12, for a ship using, as ref-
speed of advance VA of the propeller is, erence, 15 knots and 100% propulsion
as previously mentioned, less than the • For low-speed ships like tankers and power when running with a clean hull in
ship’s speed V. bulk carriers, and small feeder con- calm weather conditions. With 15% more
tainer ships, etc.: P = c × V 3.5 power, the corresponding ship speed
The real slip ratio SR, which gives a truer may increase from 15.0 to 15.6 knots.
picture of the propeller’s function, is: Propeller law for heavy running propeller
The propeller law, of course, can only As described in Chapter 3, and com-
VA V × (1 − w ) be applied to identical ship running pared with the calm weather conditions,
S R =1− =1− conditions. When, for example, the it is normal to incorporate an extra
p× n p× n
ship’s hull after some time in service power margin, the so-called sea mar-
has become fouled and thus become gin, which is often chosen to be 15%.
At quay trials where the ship’s speed is more rough, the wake field will be different This power margin corresponds to ex-
V = 0, both slip ratios are 1.0. Incidentally, from that of the smooth ship (clean hull) tra resistance on the ship caused by
slip ratios are often given in percentages. valid at trial trip conditions. the weather conditions. However, for
very rough weather conditions the influ-
Propeller law in general A ship with a fouled hull will, conse- ence may be much greater, as de-
As discussed in Chapter 1, the resis- quently, be subject to extra resistance scribed in Chapter 1.
tance R for lower ship speeds is pro- which will give rise to a “heavy propeller
portional to the square of the ship’s condition”, i.e. at the same propeller In Fig. 12a, the propulsion power is
speed V, i.e.: power, the rate of revolution will be lower. shown as a function of the ship speed.
When the resistance increases to a
R = c × V2 The propeller law now applies to an- level which requires 15% extra power
other and “heavier” propeller curve to maintain a ship speed of 15 knots,
where c is a constant. The necessary than that applying to the clean hull, the operating point A will move towards
power requirement P is thus propor- propeller curve, Ref. [1], page 243. point B.
tional to the speed V to the power of
three, thus: The same relative considerations apply In Fig. 12b the propulsion power is
when the ship is sailing in a heavy sea now shown as a function of the propeller
P = R × V = c × V3 against the current, a strong wind, and speed. As a first guess it will often be as-
heavy waves, where also the heavy sumed that point A will move towards B’
For a ship equipped with a fixed pitch waves in tail wind may give rise to a because an unchanged propeller speed
propeller, i.e. a propeller with unchange- heavier propeller running than when implies that, with unchanged pitch, the
able pitch, the ship speed V will be pro- running in calm weather. On the other propeller will move through the water
portional to the rate of revolution n, thus: hand, if the ship is sailing in ballast at an unchanged speed.
condition, i.e. with a lower displace-
P = c × n3 ment, the propeller law now applies to If the propeller was a corkscrew moving
a “lighter” propeller curve, i.e. at the through cork, this assumption would
which precisely expresses the propeller same propeller power, the propeller be correct. However, water is not solid
law, which states that “the necessary rate of revolution will be higher. as cork but will yield, and the propeller
power delivered to the propeller is pro- will have a slip that will increase with in-
portional to the rate of revolution to the As mentioned previously, for ships with creased thrust caused by increased
power of three”. a fixed pitch propeller, the propeller law hull resistance. Therefore, point A will
is extensively used at part load running. move towards B which, in fact, is very
Actual measurements show that the It is therefore also used in MAN B&W close to the propeller curve through A.
power and engine speed relationship Diesel’s engine layout and load diagrams Point B will now be positioned on a
for a given weather condition is fairly to specify the engine’s operational propeller curve which is slightly heavy
reasonable, whereas the power and curves for light running conditions (i.e. running compared with the clean hull
ship speed relationship is often seen clean hull and calm weather) and heavy and calm weather propeller curve.
with a higher power than three. A rea- running conditions (i.e. for fouled hull

Power 12.3 knots 15.0 knots
15.0 knots 15.0 knots Power
100% power 100% power
115% power 115% power
Slip B Slip
B´ D´ D A Power

15.6 knots
115% power 15.6 knots Propeller
15% 15% 115% power curve for
Sea Sea fouled hull
margin margin and heavy
Propeller curve
for clean hull and
calm weather
Propeller curve for clean 10.0 knots
Propeller curve for clean 50% power
hull and calm weather hull and calm weather

12.3 knots
15.0 knots 50% power
15.0 knots 100% power C
100% power HR HR = Heavy running
A A LR LR = Light running
Ship speed Propeller speed Propeller speed
(Logarithmic scales) (Logarithmic scales) (Logarithmic scales)

Fig. 12a: Ship speed performance at 15% Fig. 12b: Propeller speed performance at Fig. 12c: Propeller speed performance at
sea margin 15% sea margin large extra ship resistance

Sometimes, for instance when the hull a ducted propeller, the opposite effect can be up to 7-8% heavier running
is fouled and the ship is sailing in heavy is obtained. than in calm weather, i.e. at the same
seas in a head wind, the increase in propeller power, the rate of revolution
resistance may be much greater, cor- Heavy waves and sea and wind against may be 7-8% lower. An example valid
responding to an extra power demand When sailing in heavy sea against, with for a smaller container ship is shown in
of the magnitude of 100% or even higher. heavy wave resistance, the propeller Fig. 13. The service data is measured
An example is shown in Fig. 12c.

In this example, where 100% power

BHP Shaft power
will give a ship speed of 15.0 knots, 21,000
point A, a ship speed of, for instance, Heavy Ap
12.3 knots at clean hull and in calm running 10% pare
weather conditions, point C, will require C 6% nt s
Extremely bad weather 6% 2% lip
about 50% propulsion power but, at B 18,000 -2%
Average weather 3%
the above-mentioned heavy running A
conditions, it might only be possible to Extremely good weather 0%
obtain the 12.3 knots by 100% propulsion 15,000
power, i.e. for 100% power going from
point A to D. Running point D may now
be placed relatively far to the left of point
A, i.e. very heavy running. Such a situ- 12,000
ation must be considered when laying-
out the main engine in relation to the C
layout of the propeller, as described in 9,000 13 B
Clean hull and draught D 16 A
Chapter 3. DMEAN = 6.50 m Sh
s 19
DF = 5.25 m kn pee
A scewed propeller (with bent blade DA = 7.75 m ots d
6,000 22
tips) is more sensitive to heavy running 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 r/min
than a normal propeller, because the Source: Lloyd's Register Propeller speed
propeller is able to absorb a higher
torque in heavy running conditions. For
Fig. 13: Service data over a period of a year returned from a single screw container ship

creased and, in the same way as when
Shaft power SMCR: 13,000 kW x 105 r/min the ship accelerates, the propeller will
% SMCR Wind velocity : 2.5 m/s Head wind
be subjected to a larger load than dur-
105 Wave height : 4 m ing free sailing, and the propeller will be
heavy running.
Tail wind
SMCR *22.0 Influence of displacement
100 7 When the ship is sailing in the loaded
5 22.3 * condition, the ship’s displacement vol-
1 ume may, for example, be 10% higher
95 4 ve
" or lower than for the displacement valid
c ur Propeller design for the average loaded condition. This,
le light running Heavy of course, has an influence on the ship’s
op running resistance, and the required propeller
90 " pr 20.5
e 21.8 power, but only a minor influence on
g in * * 20.5 *
the propeller curve.
21.1 * On the other hand, when the ship is
85 20.8*
* 3 sailing in the ballast condition, the dis-
e placement volume, compared to the
u rv
rc *21.2 loaded condition, can be much lower,
le 21.1 *
and the corresponding propeller curve
op ve
80 Pr ur may apply to, for example, a 2% “lighter”
l er propeller curve, i.e. for the same power
el to the propeller, the rate of revolution
Pr will be 2% higher.

96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 % SMCR Parameters causing heavy running
(Logarithmic scales) Propeller/engine speed
Together with the previously described
operating parameters which cause a
heavy running propeller, the parame-
ters summarised below may give an in-
dication of the risk/sensitivity of getting
Fig. 14: Measured relationship between power, propeller and ship speed during seatrial of a heavy running propeller when sailing
a reefer ship in heavy weather and rough seas:

1 Relatively small ships (<70,000 dwt)

such as reefers and small container
over a period of one year and only heavy running when sailing in head ships are sensitive whereas large ships,
includes the influence of weather con- wind out, compared with when sailing such as large tankers and container
ditions! The measuring points have in tail wind on return. ships, are less sensitive because the
been reduced to three average weather waves are relatively small compared
conditions, and show an average Ship acceleration to the ship size.
heavy running of 6%, and therefore, in When the ship accelerates, the propel-
practice, the heavy running has proved ler will be subjected to an even larger 2 Small ships (Lpp < 135 m ≈ 20,000 dwt)
to be even greater. load than during free sailing. The power have low directional stability and,
required for the propeller, therefore, will therefore, require frequent rudder
In order to avoid slamming of the ship, be relatively higher than for free sailing, corrections, which increase the ship
and thereby damage to the stem and and the engine’s operating point will be resistance (a self-controlled rudder
racing of the propeller, the ship speed heavy running, as it takes some time will reduce such resistance).
will normally be reduced by the navigat- before the propeller speed has reached
ing officer on watch. its new and higher level. An example 3 High-speed ships
with two different accelerations is are more sensitive than low-speed
Another measured example is shown shown in Fig. 15. The load diagram is ships because the waves will act on
in Fig. 14, and is valid for a reefer ship described in Chapter 3. the fast-going ship with a relatively
during its sea trial. Even though the larger force than on the slow-going
wind velocity is relatively low, only 2.5 Shallow waters ship.
m/s, and the wave height is 4 m, the When sailing in shallow waters, the re-
measurements indicate approx. 1.5% sidual resistance of the ship may be in-

Engine shaft power, % A Direction of propeller rotation (side thrust)
When a ship is sailing, the propeller
A 100% reference point blades bite more in their lowermost po-
110 M Specified engine MCR sition than in their uppermost position.
O Optimising point A=M The resulting side-thrust effect is larger
100 the more shallow the water is as, for
O example, during harbour manoeuvres.
Therefore, a clockwise (looking from aft
to fore) rotating propeller will tend to
push the ship’s stern in the starboard
mep direction, i.e. pushing the ship’s stem
70 110% to port, during normal ahead running.
This has to be counteracted by the
100% rudder.

60 90% When reversing the propeller to astern

running as, for example, when berthing
80% alongside the quay, the side-thrust ef-
fect is also reversed and becomes fur-
50 70% ther pronounced as the ship’s speed
decreases. Awareness of this behav-
iour is very important in critical situa-
60% tions and during harbour manoeuvres.

40 According to Ref. [3], page 15-3, the

60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 real reason for the appearance of the
side thrust during reversing of the pro-
(Logarithmic scales) Engine speed, % A
peller is that the upper part of the pro-
peller’s slip stream, which is rotative,
strikes the aftbody of the ship.
Fig. 15: Load diagram – acceleration
Thus, also the pilot has to know pre-
cisely how the ship reacts in a given
situation. It is therefore an unwritten
law that on a ship fitted with a fixed
4 Ships with a “flat” stem 8 Ships with scewed propeller pitch propeller, the propeller is always
may be slowed down faster by waves are able to absorb a higher torque designed for clockwise rotation when
than a ship with a “sharp” stem. under heavy running conditions. sailing ahead. A direct coupled main
Thus an axe-shaped upper bow may engine, of course, will have the same
better cut the waves and thereby Manoeuvring speed rotation.
reduce the heavy running tendency. Below a certain ship speed, called the
manoeuvring speed, the manoeuvra- In order to obtain the same side-thrust
5 Fouling of the hull and propeller bility of the rudder is insufficient be-
effect, when reversing to astern, on
will increase both hull resistance and cause of a too low velocity of the water
arriving at the rudder. It is rather difficult ships fitted with a controllable pitch
propeller torque. Polishing the pro-
peller (especially the tips) as often as to give an exact figure for an adequate propeller, CP-propellers are designed
possible (also when in water) has a manoeuvring speed of the ship as the for anti-clockwise rotation when sailing
positive effect. The use of effective velocity of the water arriving at the rud- ahead.
anti-fouling paints will prevent fouling der depends on the propeller’s slip
caused by living organisms. stream.

6 Ship acceleration Often a manoeuvring speed of the

will increase the propeller torque, magnitude of 3.5-4.5 knots is men-
and thus give a temporarily heavy tioned. According to the propeller law,
running propeller. a correspondingly low propulsion
power will be needed but, of course,
7 Sailing in shallow waters this will be higher for running in heavy
increases the hull resistance and re- weather with increased resistance on
duces the ship’s directional stability. the ship.

Propulsion and engine running see Fig. 17. On the other hand, some
points shipyards and/or propeller manufactur-
Engine Layout and ers sometimes use a propeller design
Load Diagrams Propeller design point PD point PD‘ that incorporates all or part
Normally, estimations of the necessary of the so-called sea margin described
propeller power and speed are based below.
Power functions and logarithmic on theoretical calculations for loaded
scales ship, and often experimental tank tests, Fouled hull
both assuming optimum operating When the ship has been sailing for
As is well-known, the effective brake conditions, i.e. a clean hull and good some time, the hull and propeller be-
power PB of a diesel engine is propor- weather. The combination of speed come fouled and the hull’s resistance
tional to the mean effective pressure and power obtained may be called the will increase. Consequently, the ship
(mep) pe and engine speed (rate of rev- ship’s propeller design point PD placed speed will be reduced unless the engine
olution) n. When using c as a constant, on the light running propeller curve 6, delivers more power to the propeller, i.e.
PB may then be expressed as follows: the propeller will be further loaded and
will become heavy running HR.
PB = c × pe × n
y Furthermore, newer high-efficiency ship
or, in other words, for constant mep y = ax + b types have a relatively high ship speed,
the power is proportional to the speed: 2 and a very smooth hull and propeller
surface (at sea trial) when the ship is
delivered. This means that the inevitable
PB = c × n1 (for constant mep)
a build-up of the surface roughness on
1 the hull and propeller during sea service
As already mentioned – when running after seatrial may result in a relatively
with a fixed pitch propeller – the power heavier running propeller, compared
may, according to the propeller law, be b
with older ships born with a more rough
expressed as: hull surface.
0 X
P B = c × n3 (propeller law) 0 1 2
Heavy weather and sea margin used
A. Straight lines in linear scales
for layout of engine
Thus, for the above examples, the brake If, at the same time, the weather is
power PB may be expressed as a func- y = log (PB) bad, with head winds, the ship’s resis-
tion of the speed n to the power of i, i.e. y = log (PB) = log (c x n )
tance may increase much more, and
i=0 lead to even heavier running.
PB = c × n

When determining the necessary en-

Fig. 16 shows the relationship between gine power, it is normal practice to add
the linear functions, y = ax + b, see (A), i=1
an extra power margin, the so-called
using linear scales and the power func- sea margin, which is traditionally about
tions PB = c × n , see (B), using logarith-
15% of the propeller design PD power.
mic scales. i=2 However, for large container ships,
20-30% may sometimes be used.
The power functions will be linear when
using logarithmic scales, as: i=3 x = log (n) When determining the necessary en-
gine speed, for layout of the engine, it
log (PB) = i × log (n) + log (c) PB = engine brake power is recommended – compared with the
c = constant clean hull and calm weather propeller
which is equivalent to: y = ax + b n = engine speed curve 6 – to choose the heavier propel-
log(PB) = i x log(n) + log(c) ler curve 2, see Fig. 17, corresponding
P = c x ni
Thus, propeller curves will be parallel to y = ax + b to curve 6 having a 3-7% higher rate of
lines having the inclination i = 3, and revolution than curve 2, and in general
lines with constant mep will be parallel B. Power function curves
in logarithmic scales
with 5% as a good choice.
to lines with the inclination i = 1.
Note that the chosen sea power mar-
Therefore, in the layout and load diagrams gin does not equalise the chosen
for diesel engines, as described in the Fig. 16: Relationship between linear functions heavy engine propeller curve.
following, logarithmic scales are used, using linear scales and power functions
making simple diagrams with straight using logarithmic scales

the engine operating curve in service,
curve 2, whereas the light propeller
curve for clean hull and calm weather,
curve 6, may be valid for running con-
ditions with new ships, and equal to
the layout/design curve of the propel-
ler. Therefore, the light propeller curve
for clean hull and calm weather is said
to represent a “light running” LR pro-
MP peller and will be related to the heavy
propeller curve for fouled hull and
Engine margin heavy weather condition by means of a
(10% of MP) light running factor fLR, which, for the
PD´ same power to the propeller, is defined
as the percentage increase of the rate
Sea margin of revolution n, compared to the rate of
(15% of PD) revolution for heavy running, i.e.
nlight − nheavy
fLR = ×100%
Engine margin
LR(5%) Besides the sea margin, a so-called
2 6 “engine margin” of some 10-15% is
HR frequently added as an operational
Engine speed margin for the engine. The correspond-
ing point is called the “specified MCR
for propulsion” MP, see Fig. 17, and
refers to the fact that the power for
point SP is 10-15% lower than for
2 Heavy propeller curve _ fouled hull and heavy weather
point MP, i.e. equal to 90-85% of MP.
6 Light propeller curve _ clean hull and calm weather
MP: Specified propulsion point Specified MCR M
SP: Service propulsion point The engine’s specified MCR point M is
PD: Propeller design point the maximum rating required by the
PD`: Alternative propeller design point yard or owner for continuous operation
LR: Light running factor of the engine. Point M is identical to the
HR: Heavy running
specified propulsion MCR point MP un-
less a main engine driven shaft genera-
tor is installed. In such a case, the extra
power demand of the shaft generator
must also be considered.
Fig. 17: Ship propulsion running points and engine layout
Light/heavy running, fouling and sea
margin are overlapping terms.
Continuous service propulsion point SP Continuous service rating S Light/heavy running of the propeller re-
The resulting speed and power combi- The continuous service rating is the fers to hull and propeller deterioration,
nation – when including heavy propeller power at which the engine, including and bad weather, and sea margin, i.e.
running and sea margin – is called the the sea margin, is assumed to operate, extra power to the propeller, refers to
“continuous service rating for propulsion” and point S is identical to the service the influence of the wind and the sea.
SP for fouled hull and heavy weather. propulsion point SP unless a main en-
The heavy propeller curve, curve 2, for gine driven shaft generator is installed. Based on feedback from service, it
fouled hull and heavy weather will nor- seems reasonable to design the pro-
mally be used as the basis for the en- Light running factor fLR peller for 3-7% light running. The de-
gine operating curve in service, and the The heavy propeller curve for a fouled gree of light running must be decided
propeller curve for clean hull and calm hull and heavy weather, and if no shaft upon, based on experience from the
weather, curve 6, is said to represent a generator is installed may, as mentioned actual trade and hull design, but 5%
“light running” LR propeller. above be used as the design basis for is often a good choice.

not, the propeller speed will have to be
changed or another main engine type
Engine shaft power, % A must be chosen. Yet, in special cases,
point M may be located to the right of
A 100% reference point
line L1-L2, see “Optimising Point” below.
M Specified engine MCR A=M
100 O Optimising point 7
5 Optimising point O
The “Optimising point” O – or, better,
90 O
the layout point of the engine – is the
rating at which the turbocharger is
80 matched, and at which the engine tim-
10 ing and compression ratio are adjusted.
70 110%
As mentioned below, under “Load dia-
8 4 1 6
100% gram”, the optimising point O is placed
on line 1 (layout curve of engine) of the
60 90% 2 load diagram, and the optimised power
can be from 85 to 100% of point M‘s
80% power, when turbocharger(s) and en-
3 gine timing are taken into consideration.
50 70% When optimising between 93.5% and
9 85% of point M‘s power, overload run-
ning will still be possible (110% of M‘s
power), as long as consideration to the
40 scavenge air pressure has been taken.
60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105
The optimising point O is to be placed
Engine speed, % A inside the layout diagram. In fact, the
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) _ layout curve for engine specified MCR point M can be placed
Line 2: Heavy propeller curve _ fouled hull and heavy seas outside the layout diagram, but only by
exceeding line L1-L2, and, of course,
Line 3: Speed limit
only provided that the optimising point
Line 4: Torque/speed limit O is located inside the layout diagram.
Line 5: Mean effective pressure limit
Line 6: Light propeller curve _ clean hull and calm weather _ layout curve for propeller It should be noted that engines without
Line 7: Power limit for continuous running
VIT (variable injection timing) fuel pumps
cannot be optimised at part-load. There-
Line 8: Overload limit fore, these engines are always optimised
Line 9: Sea trial speed limit in point A, i.e. having point M‘s power.
Line 10: Constant mean effective pressure (mep) lines
Load diagram

Fig. 18: Engine load diagram
The load diagram (Fig. 18) defines the
power and speed limits for continuous
as well as overload operation of an in-
stalled engine which has an optimising
Engine layout diagram which is optimum for the ship and the point O and a specified MCR point M
operating profile. Please note that the that conforms to the ship’s specification.
An engine’s layout diagram is limited by lowest specific fuel oil consumption for
two constant mean effective pressure a given optimising point O will be ob- Point A is a 100% speed and power
(mep) lines L1-L3 and L2-L4, and by two tained at 80% of point O’s power. reference point of the load diagram,
constant engine speed lines L1-L2 and and is defined as the point on the pro-
L3-L4, see Fig. 17. The L1 point refers to Based on the propulsion and engine peller curve (line 1) – the layout curve of
the engine’s nominal maximum contin- running points, as previously found, the the engine – through the optimising point
uous rating. Within the layout area layout diagram of a relevant main en- O, having the specified MCR power.
there is full freedom to select the en- gine may be drawn-in. The specified
gines specified MCR point M and rele- MCR point M must be inside the limita- Normally, point M is equal to point A,
vant optimising point O, see below, tion lines of the layout diagram; if it is but in special cases, for example if a

shaft generator is installed, point M The above limits may, in general, be Line 7:
may be placed to the right of point A extended to 105% and, during sea trial Represents the maximum power for
on line 7. The service points of the in- conditions, to 107% of the nominal L1 continuous operation.
stalled engine incorporate the engine speed of the engine, provided the tor-
power required for ship propulsion and sional vibration conditions permit. Line 10:
for the shaft generator, if installed. Represents the mean effective pressure
The overspeed set-point is 109% of (mep) lines. Line 5 is equal to the 100%
During shoptest running, the engine will the speed in A, however, it may be mep-line. The mep-lines are also an
always operate along curve 1, with moved to 109% of the nominal speed expression of the corresponding fuel
point A as 100% MCR. If CP-propeller in L1, provided that torsional vibration index of the engine.
and constant speed operation is re- conditions permit.
quired, the delivery test may be fin- Limits for overload operation
ished with a constant speed test. Running at low load above 100% of The overload service range is limited as
the nominal L1 speed of the engine is, follows, see Fig. 18:
Limits to continuous operation however, to be avoided for extended
The continuous service range is limited periods. Line 8:
by the four lines 4, 5, 7 and 3 (9), see Represents the overload operation limi-
Fig. 18: Line 4: tations.
Represents the limit at which an ample
Line 3 and line 9 air supply is available for combustion and The area between lines 4, 5, 7 and the
Line 3 represents the maximum accept- imposes a limitation on the maximum dashed line 8 in Fig. 18 is available for
able speed for continuous operation, i.e. combination of torque and speed. overload running for limited periods
105% of A, however, maximum 105% of only (1 hour per 12 hours).
L1. During sea trial conditions the maxi- Line 5:
mum speed may be extended to 107% Represents the maximum mean effec-
of A, see line 9. tive pressure level (mep) which can be
accepted for continuous operation.

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram
3.3% A 5% A
A=M=MP 5
O 4
S=SP Power 1 2 6

2 6 A=M
1 5
O 5% L1

Propulsion and
engine service curve 4 1 6
for heavy running 2

Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O)
Propulsion and engine service
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
curve for heavy running
Engine speed
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7

Fig. 19a: Example 1 with FPP – engine layout without SG (normal case) Fig. 19b: Example 1 with FPP – load diagram without SG (normal case)

Electronic governor with load limitation pressure limiter is to ensure that the ship and clean hull, the propeller/engine
In order to safeguard the diesel engine engine is not being overfuelled during may run along or close to the propeller
against thermal and mechanical overload, acceleration, as for example during design curve 6.
the approved electronic governors include manoeuvring.
the following two limiter functions: After some time in operation, the ship’s
The scavenge air pressure limiter hull and propeller will become fouled,
• Torque limiter algorithm compares the calculated resulting in heavier running of the pro-
The purpose of the torque limiter is fuel pump index and measured peller, i.e. the propeller curve will move
to ensure that the limitation lines of scavenge air pressure with a refer- to the left from line 6 towards line 2, and
the load diagram are always observed. ence limiter curve giving the maxi- extra power will be required for propulsion
The torque limiter algorithm compares mum allowable fuel pump index at a in order to maintain the ship speed.
the calculated fuel pump index (fuel given scavenge air pressure. If the
amount) and the actually measured calculated fuel pump index is above At calm weather conditions the extent
engine speed with a reference limiter this curve, the resulting fuel pump of heavy running of the propeller will
curve giving the maximum allowable index will be reduced correspondingly. indicate the need for cleaning the hull
fuel pump index at a given engine and, possibly, polishing the propeller.
speed. If the calculated fuel pump The reference limiter curve is to be
index is above this curve, the result- adjusted to ensure that sufficient air The area between lines 4 and 1 is avail-
ing fuel pump index will be reduced will always be available for a good able for operation in shallow water,
correspondingly. combustion process. heavy weather and during acceleration,
i.e. for non-steady operation without
The reference limiter curve is to be Recommendation any actual time limitation.
adjusted so that it corresponds to the Continuous operation without a time
limitation lines of the load diagram. limitation is allowed only within the area
limited by lines 4, 5, 7 and 3 of the
• Scavenge air pressure limiter load diagram. For fixed pitch propeller
The purpose of the scavenge air operation in calm weather with loaded

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram

5 3.3% A 5% A
A 1 2 6
7 Power
A 7
5 M
1 2 6 O 5% L1

Propulsion and
4 1 2 6
engine service curve
for heavy running 3
Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) Propulsion and engine service
curve for heavy running
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7 Engine speed

Fig. 20a: Example 2 with FPP – engine layout without SG (special case) Fig. 20b: Example 2 with FPP – load diagram without SG (special case)

The recommended use of a relatively In this respect the choice of the optimi- Example 2:
high light running factor for design of sing point O has a significant influence. Special running conditions, without
the propeller will involve that a relatively shaft generator
higher propeller speed will be used for Examples with fixed pitch propeller
layout design of the propeller. This, in When the ship accelerates, the propel-
turn, may involve a minor reduction of Example 1: ler will be subjected to an even larger
the propeller efficiency, and may possi- Normal running conditions, without load than during free sailing. The same
bly cause the propeller manufacturer to shaft generator applies when the ship is subjected to
abstain from using a large light running an extra resistance as, for example,
margin. However, this reduction of the Normally, the optimising point O, and when sailing against heavy wind and
propeller efficiency caused by the large thereby the engine layout curve 1, will sea with large wave resistance.
light running factor is actually relatively be selected on the engine service
insignificant compared with the improved curve 2 (for heavy running), as shown In both cases, the engine’s operating
engine performance obtained when in Fig. 19a. point will be to the left of the normal
sailing in heavy weather and/or with operating curve, as the propeller will
fouled hull and propeller. Point A is then found at the intersection run heavily.
between propeller curve 1 (2) and the
Use of layout and load constant power curve through M, line In order to avoid exceeding the
diagrams - examples 7. In this case, point A will be equal to left-hand limitation line 4 of the load
point M. diagram, it may, in certain cases, be
In the following, four different examples necessary to limit the acceleration
based on fixed pitch propeller (FPP) Once point A has been found in the and/or the propulsion power.
and one example based on controllable layout diagram, the load diagram can
pitch propeller (CPP) are given in order be drawn, as shown in Fig. 19b, and If the expected trade pattern of the
to illustrate the flexibility of the layout hence the actual load limitation lines ship is to be in an area with frequently
and load diagrams. of the diesel engine may be found. appearing heavy wind and sea and

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram

Power A=M 7 7
O SG 5
S 3.3% A 5% A
Power 1 2 6
SP 7

O 5% L1


1 2 6 MP


4 1 2 6

Propulsion curve

for heavy running



Engine service curve

for heavy running
Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) Propulsion curve
Engine service curve for heavy running
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
for heavy running Engine speed
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7

Fig. 21a: Example 3 with FPP – engine layout with SG (normal case) Fig. 21b: Example 3 with FPP – load diagram with SG (normal case)

large wave resistance, it can, therefore, for the shaft generator’s electrical One solution could be to choose a
be an advantage to design/move the power production. diesel engine with an extra cylinder,
load diagram more towards the left. but another and cheaper solution is to
In Fig. 21a, the engine service curve reduce the electrical power production
The latter can be done by moving the shown for heavy running incorporates of the shaft generator when running in
engine’s optimising point O – and thus this extra power. the upper propulsion power range.
the propeller curve 1 through the opti-
mising point – towards the left. How- The optimising point O, and thereby the If choosing the latter solution, the re-
ever, this will be at the expense of a engine layout curve 1, will normally be quired specified MCR power of the en-
slightly increased specific fuel oil con- chosen on the propeller curve (~ en- gine can be reduced from point M’ to
sumption. gine service curve) through point M. point M as shown in Fig. 22a. Therefore,
when running in the upper propulsion
An example is shown in Figs. 20a and Point A is then found in the same way power range, a diesel generator has to
20b. As will be seen in Fig. 20b, and as in example 1, and the load diagram take over all or part of the electrical
compared with the normal case shown can be drawn as shown in Fig. 21b. power production.
in Example 1 (Fig. 19b), the left-hand
limitation line 4 is moved to the left, giv- Example 4: However, such a situation will seldom
ing a wider margin between lines 2 and Special case, with shaft generator occur, as ships rather infrequently op-
4, i.e. a larger light running factor has erate in the upper propulsion power
been used in this example. Also in this special case, a shaft gener- range. In the example, the optimising
ator is installed but, unlike in Example point O has been chosen equal to
Example 3: 3, now the specified MCR for propul- point S, and line 1 may be found.
Normal case, with shaft generator sion MP is placed at the top of the lay-
out diagram, see Fig. 22a. This involves Point A, having the highest possible
In this example a shaft generator (SG) that the intended specified MCR of the power, is then found at the intersection
is installed, and therefore the service engine (Point M’) will be placed outside of line L1-L3 with line 1, see Fig. 22a,
power of the engine also has to incor- the top of the layout diagram. and the corresponding load diagram is
porate the extra shaft power required

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine M´ S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine A O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram 7 A: Reference point of load diagram
Power 3.3% A 5% A
A 7
4 5 M

Power 1 2 6

1 2 6 SG MP

5% L1



4 1 2 6
g en

Propulsion curve for heavy running


Engine service curve

for heavy running Engine speed

Point A and M of load diagram Propulsion curve

Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) for heavy running
Point A: Intersection between line 1 and line L1 - L3
Point M: Located on constant power line 7 through point A Engine service curve
and at MP’s speed for heavy running Engine speed

Fig. 22a: Example 4 with FPP – engine layout with SG (special case) Fig. 22b: Example 4 with FPP – load diagram with SG (special case)

drawn in Fig. 22b. Point M is found on Therefore, it is recommended to use a applied for engines with CPP running
line 7 at MP’s speed. light running combinator curve (the dotted on a combinator curve.
curve), as shown in Fig. 23, to obtain an
Example with controllable pitch propeller increased operating margin for the diesel The optimising point O for engines with
engine in heavy weather to the load limits VIT can be chosen on the propeller curve
Example 5: indicated by curves 4 and 5. 1 through point A = M with an optimised
With or without shaft generator power from 85 to 100% of the specified
Layout diagram – with shaft generator MCR as mentioned before in the section
Layout diagram – without shaft generator The hatched area in Fig. 23 shows the dealing with optimising point O.
If a controllable pitch propeller (CPP) recommended speed range between
is applied, the combinator curve (of 100% and 96.7% of the specified MCR Load diagram
the propeller with optimum propeller speed for an engine with shaft generator Therefore, when the engine’s specified
efficiency) will normally be selected for running at constant speed. MCR point M has been chosen including
loaded ship including sea margin. engine margin, sea margin and the
The service point S can be located at power for a shaft generator, if installed,
For a given propeller speed, the com- any point within the hatched area. point M can be used as point A of the
binator curve may have a given propeller load diagram, which can then be drawn.
pitch, and this means that, like for a fixed The procedure shown in Examples 3
pitch propeller, the propeller may be and 4 for engines with FPP can also be The position of the combinator curve
heavy running in heavy weather. ensures the maximum load range
within the permitted speed range for
engine operation, and it still leaves a
reasonable margin to the load limits
indicated by curves 4 and 5.
M: Specified MCR of engine
S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine Influence on engine running of
A: Reference point of load diagram different types of ship resistance -
3.3%A 5%A
7 In order to give a brief summary regard-
ing the influence on the fixed pitch
5 propeller running and main engine opera-
4 tion of different types of ship resistance,
an arbitrary example has been chosen,
1 see the load diagram in Fig. 24.
7 The influence of the different types of
resistance is illustrated by means of
O 5%L 1
S corresponding service points for propul-
sion having the same propulsion power,
4 1 using as basis the propeller design
point PD, plus 15% extra power.

3 Propeller design point PD

The propeller will, as previously described,
Recommended range normally be designed according to a
for shaft generator specified ship speed V valid for loaded
operation with ship with clean hull and calm weather
constant speed conditions. The corresponding engine
speed and power combination is
Min Max shown as point PD on propeller curve
Combinator curve speed speed 6 in the load diagram, Fig. 24.
for loaded ship
and incl. sea margin Engine speed Increased ship speed, point S0
If the engine power is increased by, for
example, 15%, and the loaded ship is
still operating with a clean hull and in
Fig. 23: Example 5 with CPP – with or without shaft generator calm weather, point S0, the ship speed

V and engine speed n will increase in Point S0 will be placed on the same resistance from heavy seas, an extra
accordance with the propeller law (more propeller curve as point PD. power of, for example, 15% is needed
or less valid for the normal speed range): in order to maintain the ship speed V
Sea running with clean hull and 15% (15% sea margin).
V S 0 = V × 3 .5 115
. = 1041
. ×V sea margin, point S2
Conversely, if still operating with loaded As the ship speed VS2 = V, and if the
nS 0 = n × 3 .0 115
. = 1048
. ×n
ship and clean hull, but now with extra propeller had no slip, it would be expected
that the engine (propeller) speed would
also be constant. However, as the water
does yield, i.e. the propeller has a slip,
the engine speed will increase and the
PD: Propeller design point, clean hull and calm weather running point S2 will be placed on a
Continuous service rating for propulsion with propeller curve 6.2 very close to S0, on
a power equal to 90% specified MCR, based on: propeller curve 6. Propeller curve 6.2
will possibly represent an approximate
S0: Clean hull and calm weather, loaded ship 0.5% heavier running propeller than
S1: Clean hull and calm weather, ballast (trial) curve 6. Ref. [1], page 242.
S2: Clean hull and 15% sea margin, loaded ship Depending on the ship type and size,
SP: Fouled hull and heavy weather, loaded ship the heavy running factor of 0.5% may
be slightly higher or lower.
S3: Very heavy sea and wave resistance
For a resistance corresponding to
Engine shaft power % of A about 30% extra power (30% sea mar-
gin), the corresponding relative heavy
100% ref. point (A)
110 running factor will be about 1%, Ref.
Specified MCR (M)
[1], page 242.
A=M Sea running with fouled hull, and
100 7
5 heavy weather, point SP
95 When, after some time in service, the
S0 ship’s hull has been fouled, and thus
S1 becomes more rough, the wake field
S2 will be different from that of a smooth
85 ship (clean hull).
8 4 1 6
A ship with a fouled hull will, conse-
2 PD quently, be subject to an extra resis-
3 9 tance which, due to the changed
75 wake field, will give rise to a heavier
6.3 6.2 6.1 running propeller than experienced
70 during bad weather conditions alone.
80 85 90 95 100 105 110 When also incorporating some aver-
age influence of heavy weather, the
Engine speed, % of A propeller curve for loaded ship will
move to the left, see propeller curve
Line 1: Propeller curve through point A=M, layout curve for engine 2 in the load diagram in Fig. 24. This
Line 2: Heavy propeller curve, fouled hull and heavy weather, loaded ship propeller curve, denoted fouled hull
and heavy weather for a loaded ship,
Line 6: Light propeller curve, clean hull and calm weather, is about 5% heavy running compared
loaded ship, layout curve for propeller to the clean hull and calm weather
Line 6.1: Propeller curve, clean hull and calm weather, ballast (trial) propeller curve 6.
Line 6.2: Propeller curve, clean hull and 15% sea margin, loaded ship
In order to maintain an ample air
Line 6.3: Propeller curve, very heavy sea and wave resistance supply for the diesel engine’s com-
bustion, which imposes a limitation
on the maximum combination of
torque and speed, see curve 4 of the
Fig. 24: Influence of different types of ship resistance on the continuous service rating load diagram, it is normal practice to

match the diesel engine and turbo- peller curve. However, as the ship is References
charger etc. according to a propeller seldom loaded during sea trials and
curve 1 of the load diagram, equal to more often is sailing in ballast, the ac- [1] Resistance and Propulsion of Ships,
the heavy propeller curve 2. tual propeller curve 6.1 will be more Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1983
light running than curve 6.
Instead of point S2, therefore, point SP [2] Ship Resistance
will normally be used for the engine lay- For a power to the propeller equal to H.E. Guldhammer and
out by referring this service propulsion 90% specified MCR, point S1 on the Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1974
rating to, for example, 90% of the engine’s load diagram, in Fig. 24, indicates an
specified MCR, which corresponds to example of such a running condition. In [3] Fartygspropellrar och Fartygs Framdrift,
choosing a 10% engine margin. order to be able to demonstrate opera- Jan Tornblad, KaMeWa Publication,
tion at 100% power, if required, during 1985
In other words, in the example the pro- sea trial conditions, it may in some
peller’s design curve is about 5% light cases be necessary to exceed the pro- [4] Technical discussion with
running compared with the propeller peller speed restriction, line 3, which Keld Kofoed Nielsen,
curve used for layout of the main engine. during trial conditions may be allowed Burmeister & Wain Shipyard,
to be extended to 107%, i.e. to line 9 Copenhagen
Running in very heavy seas with of the load diagram.
heavy waves, point S3 Furthermore, we recommend:
When sailing in very heavy sea against,
with heavy waves, the propeller can be Closing Remarks [5] Prediction of Power of Ships
7-8% heavier running (and even more) Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1977 and 1986
than in calm weather, i.e. at the same In practice, the ship’s resistance will
propeller power, the rate of revolution frequently be checked against the results [6] Propulsion of Single-Screw Ships
may be 7-8% lower. obtained by testing a model of the ship Sv. Aa. Harvald & J.M. Hee, 1981
in a towing tank. The experimental tank
For a propeller power equal to 90% of test measurements are also used for
specified MCR, point S3 in the load optimising the propeller and hull design.
diagram in Fig. 24 shows an example
of such a running condition. When the ship’s necessary power re-
quirement, including margins, and the
In some cases in practice with strong propeller’s speed (rate of revolution)
wind against, the heavy running has have been determined, the correct
proved to be even greater and even to main engine can then be selected, e.g.
be found to the left of the limitation line with the help of MAN B&W Diesel’s
4 of the load diagram. computer-based engine selection
In such situations, to avoid slamming of
the ship and thus damage to the stem In this connection the interaction between
and racing of the propeller, the ship ship and main engine is extremely im-
speed will normally be reduced by the portant, and the placing of the engine’s
navigating officers on watch. load diagram, i.e. the choice of engine
layout in relation to the engine’s (ship’s)
Ship acceleration and operation in operational curve, must be made care-
shallow waters fully in order to achieve the optimum
When the ship accelerates and the propulsion plant. In order to avoid over-
propeller is being subjected to a larger loading of the main engine for excessive
load than during free sailing, the effect running conditions, the installation of an
on the propeller may be similar to that electronic governor with load control may
illustrated by means of point S3 in the be useful.
load diagram, Fig. 24. In some cases in
practice, the influence of acceleration If a main engine driven shaft generator –
on the heavy running has proved to be producing electricity for the ship – is in-
even greater. The same conditions are stalled, the interaction between ship and
valid for running in shallow waters. main engine will be even more complex.
However, due to the flexibility of the lay-
Sea running at trial conditions, point S1 out and load diagrams for the MAN B&W
Normally, the clean hull propeller curve engines, a suitable solution will nearly al-
6 will be referred to as the trial trip pro- ways be readily at hand.