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Controllable Pitch Propellers Questions 1 Describe the arrangement and operation of a controllable-pitch propeller (CPP) 2 State the precautions

to take with a CPP before starting the main engine going to sea entering harbour or confined waters

3 State that regular drill should be carried out for changing control positions and use of emergency hand control pitch and engine revolutions What is CPP Controllable pitch propellers (CPP) are normally fitted to a flanged tailshaft as the operating mechanism is housed in the propeller boss. As its name implies, it is possible to alter the pitch of this type of propeller to change ship speed or to adjust to the prevailing resistance conditions. Rotating the blades about their vertical axes, either by hydraulic or mechanical means, effects this change in pitch. Where is CPP used? A shaft generator can be driven at constant speed while allowing at the same time a change of ship's speed through the propeller. Since it is normally possible to reverse the pitch completely, this type of propeller is used with a uni-directional engine to give full ahead or astern thrust, when manoeuvring. Application of CPP The most obvious application is for ferries or other vessels, which regularly and frequently manoeuvre in and out of port. They are also used for double duty vessels, such as tugs or trawlers where the operating conditions for towing or for running free are entirely different. Describe the arrangement and operation of a controllable-pitch propeller (CPP) A controllable pitch propeller is of the built-up type with separate boss and blades, the blades being capable of being turned through the required angle to the plane of rotation to change from full pitch angle ahead to full pitch angle astern and be held in any intermediate position while the engine and propeller run in one direction only. Each blade has a circular flange at its root which is secured to, but is a sliding rotational fit in, its corresponding recess in the propeller boss. The flanges are pivoted about their centres and operated by mechanism hydraulically controlled from the ship's bridge.

Hydraulic pumps For hydraulically operated pitch control system two independent, powerdriven pump sets are fitted. For propulsion plants up to 220 kW, one power-driven pump set is sufficient provided that, in addition, a hand-operated pump is fitted for controlling the blade pitch. Manoeuvring with CPP Manoeuvring of the ship ahead or astern, and variation of the ship's speed is done only by controlling the pitch of the propeller blades. Figure outlines the pneumatic or electronic control where a single lever on the bridge (a duplicated system exists in the engine room) is used to send the desired vessel direction and speed to the controller. By controlling pitch, engine speed and torque the best possible economic use can be obtained. Astern Pitch indicator
Pitch & speed controller

Ahead Bridge control

Pitch setting mechanism Torque Speed Sensor Sensor

Governor Uni directional engine

Shaft generator Constant RPM

Pitch Indicators Controllable pitch propeller systems are to be provided with an engine room (local) indicator showing the actual setting of the blades. Further pitch indicators are mounted on the bridge and in the engineroom Engine overload prevention/pitch limiter Suitable devices are to be fitted to ensure that an alteration of the blade setting cannot overload the propulsion plant or cause it to stall. Safety Features, if hydraulic pitch setting system fails In the event of a failure of the servomotor, an external lever can be used to shift the valve rod manually to control blade pitch. A powerful spring may be fitted so that in the event of loss of hydraulic oil pressure, the blades will be moved towards the full ahead position. It may be necessary to slow the engine or even stop it, to allow the spring to act. Some controllable pitch propellers are arranged to remain at the current setting/pitch if hydraulic oil loss occurs. Regular drill should be carried out for changing control positions from bridge control to local control of engine revolutions and use of emergency hand control of CPP pitch Note: Read Case Study 1 Advantages of CPP Some of the advantages achieved by this propeller system are: 1. Improved manoeuvrability. 2. Uni-directional engine, no reversing mechanism required 3. Reduced number of engine starts. 4. Improved engine efficiency by using a combinatory control which varies pitch and engine speed. 5. Engine room personnel freed from stand-by duties. Disadvantages of CPP: 1. Complex propeller system hence reduced reliability compared to fixed pitch. 2. With oil in propeller boss possibility of pollution of the sea with oil in event of seal failure. 3. Increased dry docking time for propeller survey. before going to sea :

State the precautions to take with a CPP before starting the main engine going to sea entering harbour or confined waters Start servo pumps ( auxiliary and main) ; test blade movement and angle from local and remote before starting the main engine : Ensure all servo pumps are on and blades at neutral position.

before arrival or in confined waters: Ensure all servo pumps are on and test engine on ahead and astern by moving blades. Regulation: Fail safe in ahead position and run at 50% to 70% load Starting requirement reduced from 12 to 6 starts