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UDC 629.5.





A Practical Approach for Design
of Marine Propellers with
Systematic Propeller Series
Original scientific paper
Although there have been important developments in marine propellers since their first use
in 1850, the main concept has been conserved. Parallel to the developments in the computer
technologies in the past 50 years, methods based on the circulation theory are often used for the
design and analysis of propellers. Due to the ability to predict the propulsion performance with
just a few design parameters, the use of systematic propeller series based on open water model
experiments is still widespread. The design with standard propeller series is usually made with
diagrams developed from model experiments. Reading errors during the use of these diagrams
are inevitable. In the presented study a practical approach is developed for preventing reading
errors and time loss during the design with standard propeller series. A practical approach based
on empirical formulas for the design and performance prediction for four-bladed Wageningen B
propeller series is presented, and design applications for three propellers with different loading
conditions are realized. The results obtained from the presented method are compared with those
of open water diagram data and a good agreement between the results is observed.
Keywords: propeller design, propeller series, propeller performance, open water diagram

Praktični pristup projektiranju brodskih vijaka korištenjem sistematskih
serija vijaka
Izvorni znanstveni rad

Author’s Address (Adresa autora):
Yildiz Technical University, Department
of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 34349 Besiktas, Istanbul,
Received (Primljeno): 2011-01-31
Accepted (Prihvaćeno): 2011-03-29
Open for discussion (Otvoreno za
raspravu): 2012-06-30

Iako je od začetaka korištenja brodskih vijaka 1850. godine došlo do njihovog značajnog
razvoja, osnovno načelo je istovjetno i danas. Usporedno s razvojem računalnih tehnologija posljednjih 50 godina, metode temeljene na cirkulacijskoj teoriji se često koriste za projekt i analizu
vijaka. Uslijed mogućnosti da se propulzijska svojstva vijka predvide poznavajući samo nekoliko
osnovnih projektnih parametara, korištenje sistematskih serija vijaka temeljeno na modelskim
ispitivanjima slobodne vožnje je i dalje u širokoj uporabi. Projekt vijka prema standardnim serijama
vijaka obično se provodi pomoću dijagrama koji su razvijeni temeljem modelskih ispitivanja. Greške
pri očitanjima vrijednosti iz dijagrama su neizbježne. U ovoj je studiji razvijen praktični pristup za
sprečavanje grešaka očitanja i gubitka vremena tijekom projektiranja uz pomoć standardnih serija
vijaka. Praktični pristup temeljen na empirijskim formulama za projektiranje i prognozu propulzijskih
svojstava za četverokrilne vijke Wageningenske B serije je prikazan, te su prikazane primjene za tri
vijka sa različitim stanjima opterećenja. Rezultati dobiveni primjenom ove metode uspoređeni su s
onima dobivenim iz dijagrama slobodne vožnje te je uočeno dobro poklapanje rezultata.
Ključne riječi: projekt vijka, serija vijaka, propulzijska svojstva, dijagram slobodne vožnje


Blade area ratio
Trust loading coefficient
Propeller diameter (m)
Advance coefficient
Torque coefficient
Thrust coefficient
Propeller rate of rotation per minute (RPM)
Propeller pitch (m)
Delivered power (kW)
Propeller torque (kNm)


Thrust (kN)
Total resistance (kN)
Advance speed (m/s)
Ship speed (knot)
Taylor wake fraction
Number of propeller blades
Open water efficiency
Pitch ratio
Density of water (kg/m3)
Constant number
Equation coefficients

62(2011)2, 123-129


[30]. due to the developments in the computer technology. A multipurpose optimization method is made by Benini in [21] for the Wageningen B propeller series using an algorithm for maximizing both. three new developments have appeared in the design and analysis of propellers. In this study. The aim in the propeller design is to obtain the optimum propeller which applies to minimum power requirements and against maximum efficiency conditions at an adequate revolution number. The results of the study are presented by van Lammeren et. and PIV techniques [12-17]. any changes in the main concept of screw propellers was observed. Celik and Guner in [22] suggested an improved lifting line method by modelling the flow deformation behind the propeller with free vortex systems. In the first stage of propeller design. JD-CPP propeller series are also mentioned in literature through various studies [18]. for the design and analysis of propellers [1-11]. have still secured their position as the best suitable propulsion system since that time. pitch ratio (P/D). The variable parameters relating these series are the propeller blade number (Z). Usually two methods are used in the propeller design. In a similar study a computer program has been developed by Koronowicz et. These series consist of propellers whose blade number (Z). optimization of blade geometry depending on induced pressure forces and the blade numbers... calculations considered are the scale effects in the velocity field where the propeller is operating. in [26] used the artificial neural network method for the prediction of thrust and torque values of the Wageningen B series propeller. corrections in the velocity field due to the rudder. 47 K Q = ∑ Cn ( J )Sn ( P / D )tn ( A E / A0 )un ( Z )vn (1) n =1 39 K T = ∑ Cn ( J )Sn ( P / D )tn ( A E / A0 )un ( Z )vn (2) n =1 The dimensionless propeller characteristics are expressed as below: . They presented the open water propeller characteristics of the Wageningen B series for the Reynolds number at 2 x 106 as polynomial functions as given in (1) and (2).al. The effects of the Reynolds number are not included in the calculations. A similar study was made by Suen and Kouh in [28]. also named screw propellers. The set of propellers consists of four-bladed propellers and is developed in such a manner that the whole range of the blade area ratios (AE/A0) and pitch ratios (P/D) of the Wageningen B series are included. Besides this series. Newton-Rader series. Japanese AU series. and the pitch ratio (P/D). In the past ten years. Hsin et. A set of propellers suitable for a wide loading range is developed by the use of polynomials representing the open water diagrams of the Wageningen B propeller series. the diagrams and empirical formulas can also be used for the propeller performance prediction. Until the mid 1980s different reports about the Wageningen B propeller series were published. He compared his findings with the results obtained from vortex-lattice method. In this study a practical design approach is presented by using the Wageningen B series propellers for a case where the delivered power (PD). usually the open water experiment diagrams of systematic model propeller series are used. propeller blade area ratio (AE/A0). The screw propellers. After 1950. optimization of accurate blade geometry in terms of cavitation and strength. the Gawn (Froude) series. The most known and used propeller series is the Wageningen (Troost) series. maximization of the propeller efficiency. lifting surface. In his study Olsen in [23] developed a method to 124 62(2011)2. Lindgren series (Ma-series). the advance speed (VA) and the revolution number (n) is known. It is seen that these propellers will be used for longer periods of time due to their high efficiency and suitable use. These are CFD methods (RANS solvers). the thrust and torque coefficients under a constraint determined according to cavitation. it is necessary to predict the performance of the considered propeller. The first is to use diagrams obtained from open water propeller experiments for systematic propeller series. 123-129 calculate the propeller efficiency with the help of energy coefficients including the propeller loss. 2 Propeller design with standard propeller series In the initial ship design stage. Roddy et. EKINCI A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR DESIGN OF MARINE PROPELLERS WITH SYSTEMATIC. The propeller design and performance characteristics are presented by means of empirical formulas and diagrams to propeller designers as a practical tool for the use in the preliminary design stage. Wageningen nozzle propeller series. Gutsche and Schroeder controllable pitch propeller series. Although there have been significant developments in both the propeller design and the propulsion systems in this long period of BEM (boundary element method)) based on circulation theory. have an important place among the propulsion systems to propel a ship. for the design calculations for a propeller which is analyzed in the real velocity environment [20]. blade section shape and blade section thickness are varied systematically. the blade area ratio (AE/A0). it is seen that advantage of the improvements in the computer technology has been utilized. above mentioned. Later this study was expanded by including viscous corrections for different Reynolds numbers [18]. A detailed regression analysis was made for the performance characteristics obtained from the Wageningen B propeller series by Oosterveld and van Oossanen [31]. Tanaka and Yoshida in [19] developed a computer program for propeller designers which transforms the dimensionless tables obtained from propeller series experiments into numerical graphics with great accuracy. fixed pitch propellers. Unlike the classical lifting line methods. Chen and Shih in [27] realized the propeller design by the use of the Wageningen B series propellers by considering the vibration and efficiency characteristics using genetic algorithm. 1 Introduction In ship hydrodynamics. KCA series. For this purpose the commonly preferred open water series with low cavitation risk is the Wageningen B screw propeller series. Later some corrections were made on the series by taking the scale effects into account. The second is to use mathematical methods (lifting line. The experimental data of this series were firstly reported by Troost [29]. When examining the studies about propeller design for the past ten great improvements were seen in the second vortex-lattice. in [24] applied in their study a method derived from the adjoint equation of the finite element method to two propeller design problems. which showed up in the 19th century. Matulja and Dejhalla in [25] realized the selection of the optimum screw propeller geometry with artificial neural networks. Besides the propeller design. high speed camera techniques.S. KCD series.

12 4 0. KT.. the advance speed (VA). S. Namely. w Number of blades. VS in m/s Taylor wake fraction. substituting it in the expression Q K Q = 2 5 and finally rearranging the equation the expression ρn D below can be obtained: PD n 2 5 J = k. so the main propeller data are used to generate different values of “k” including all probable propeller cases of 4-bladed Wageningen B series. The intersection points of this curve which express the torque requirement of the propeller and the KQ curves of different P/D values on the open water diagram describe the possible design solutions. and η0 curves and expressions for the design of new propellers are given for different blade area ratios in the order of PD. P/D.. which represents the most efficient propeller among the different solutions satisfying the requirements. n in rps Vehicle speed. VA). n. PD (kW) Advance speed.0) are given in Table 1. torque coefficient (KQ) and propeller efficiency (ηo) are given as the function of “k” in the graphics above. Z The necessary blade surface area required to minimize the risk of cavitation can be determined using an appropriate cavitation criteria. The set of propellers is generated by considering the PD and n values of the main propeller constant and by changing the advance speed VA (2. the blade number (Z) and the blade area ratio (AE/A0) are known and the pitch ratio (P/D). P/D. The expressions of the curves fitted to the points so as to ignore the 62(2011)2. the number of propeller revolutions (n).70.70 Since the pitch ratio (P/D). KQ. KT. the torque requirement curve KQ-J obtained according to Equation (8) is drawn over the Wageningen B open water diagram. n and VA. 0. KT. For this condition the propeller design is based only on the value of “k”.J 5 2πρVA5 (8) PD n 2 = constant 2πρVA5 (9) KQ = (5) k= Open water propeller efficiency: (6) (7) The Wageningen B propeller series is a general purpose series. KQ and ηo values of the optimum propeller are read-off.4-1. the “k” expression (9).4) of the Wageningen B series. KQ and ηo values due to k are presented in relation to k in Figures 1-5. Thrust coefficient: T KT = 2 4 ρn D (3) Q ρ n2 D5 (4) Torque coefficient: KQ = Advance coefficient: v J= A nD KT J KQ 2 π Propeller thrust loading coefficient: ηo = CTH = 8 KT π J2 The torque requirement of a propeller can be expressed as a V function of the advance coefficient J = A and extracting the nD diameter (D) from this formula. 123-129 125 . D (m) Number of blades. such as of Burrill in [32]. The optimum efficiency curve is obtained by drawing vertical lines from the intersection points to the efficiency curves. KQ. Then the P/D. are known. advance coefficient (J).372 380 2. Firstly. AE/A0 648 4. 0. thrust coefficient (KT). And.4). 1. Propeller design method: Initial design variable requirements of the propeller are given below: Delivered power. EKINCI For the cases where the design variables (PD.5 step size. Table 1 Main propeller design input data Tablica 1 Glavni ulazni podaci za projekt vijka Delivered power. J. KT. 3 A practical design approach to marine propellers for 4-bladed Wageningen B series In this section empirical expressions and diagrams are presented for the practical design and performance analysis of four-bladed propellers by the use of the Wageningen B screw series. And the maximum point of this curve. The Wageningen B series propellers are extensively used for the design and analysis of fixed pitch propellers.5-1.0. P/D: 0.55. The delivered power (PD). a set of propellers is generated designing the propellers by changing systematically the advance speed (VA) and the blade area ratio (AE/A0) of the main propeller including all the four-bladed Wageningen B propellers (AE/A0: 0. Later the J.4. VA (m/s) Propeller rate of rotation per minute. Because the open water experiments are made in fresh water. with 0. the propeller design is carried out as follows. A computer code based on polynomials of the Wageningen B series is used in the applications of the design method. Z Blade area ratio.A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR DESIGN OF MARINE PROPELLERS WITH SYSTEMATIC. This series is expressed with open water diagrams obtained from model tests where the KT-KQ-J curves are showed for propellers with constant blade number (Z) and constant blade area ratio (AE/A0) but variable pitch ratios (P/D). this must be considered in the design calculations. J.5 knots. ηo) are investigated among probable solutions. RPM Propeller diameter. The set of propellers is generated by the design method given as below. PD in kW Propeller rate of rotation.85. 0.5-22. is read-off. the diameter (D) and the performance characteristics (J. in total 39 values) to cover the whole P/D range (0. The main propeller data used for generating the set of propellers for each AE/A0 (0. these can be also expressed in a general polynomial form (10).5-1.

2 k0.2 4.7 1.5 4 1 1.5 4.2 Figure 3 Variation of thrust coefficient (KT) in relation to k Slika 3 Promjena koeficijenta poriva (KT) u odnosu na k also be executed by reducing the reading errors to a minimum with the use of (10).4 0.21 AE/A0=0. function of pitch ratio (P/D).5 1.5 AE/A0=1.85 AE/A0=1.1 0 0. F(k). T) can be obtained by (J) and (KT) expressions given in (3).2 AE/A0=0.17 0.4 AE/A0=0.85 AE/A0=1.2 Figure 4 Variation of torque coefficient (KQ) in relation to k Slika 4 Promjena koeficijenta momenta uvijanja (KQ) u odnosu na k 0.5 k0.85 0.5 Figure 1 Variation of non dimensional pitch ratio (P/D) in relation to k Slika 1 Promjena bezdimenzijskog omjera uspona i promjera vijka (P/D) u odnosu na k 2 2.5 2.0 0.2 0.4 AE/A0=0.5 AE/A0=0.5 4 4.4 AE/A0=0. 123-129 PD n 2 . For the intermediate values of the blade area ratio the interpolation methods can be used.0 0.7 0.5 2 2.5 k0.3 0.0 1. k = .55 1.16 0.7 0.8 AE/A0=0.5 0.22 0. n.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 3 3.6 0.19 0.5 3.5 2 2. these equations and graphics can also be interpreted as useful and timesaving tools for the prediction of the performance characteristics of an existing 4bladed propeller.2 (ak + bk 4 /5 + ck 3/5 + dk 2 /5 + ek 1/5 + f ) + g (10) effects of oscillations are determined by using the least square method (LSM).S.6 AE/A0=0.0 1 1.85 AE/A0=1.5 1 1. advance 2πρVA5 coefficient (J) etc.6 0.55 AE/A0=0.55 AE/A0=0.55 AE/A0=0.2 k Figure 2 Variation of advance coefficient (J) in relation to k Slika 2 Promjena koeficijenta napredovanja (J) u odnosu na k 0.4 AE/A0=0.5 3 3. In addition to propeller design.5 4 4. The values of the coefficients in (10) with the blade area ratio (AE/A0) are given in Table 2.4 1.5 1 1.8 AE/A0=0.2 0.7 AE/A0=0.5 k0.0 1 0.7 Advance coefficient ( J ) 1 Open water efficiency ( η0) AE/A0=0.14 0. 1. VA values of “k” can be carried out with the graphics.6 0.5 3 3. (5). EKINCI A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR DESIGN OF MARINE PROPELLERS WITH SYSTEMATIC. it can 126 62(2011)2.2 0.5 3 3...7 0.0 Thrust coefficient (K T) 0.2 0.15 0.2 0.5 4. The other propeller parameters (D.1 0.13 0.0 3.4 Torque coefficient (10K Q) AE/A0=0. While the design of a propeller with the given PD.4 AE/A0=0.85 Figure 5 Variation of open water efficiency (η0) in relation to k Slika 5 Promjena korisnosti u slobodnoj vožnji (η0) u odnosu na k AE/A0=1.5 0. Here.0 2.8 AE/A0=0.18 0.0 0.4 AE/A0=0.55 Pitch ratio (P/D) AE/A0=0. F ( k ) = k 0.5 2 2.5 4 4.

541 0. J and η0) are presented in Table 4.846 7.0009 b -0.1437 -6.9566 2.25914 -5.8503 3.0339 0 0.0263 0 0.1227 -8.166 0.0535 -5.6823 -0. Various loading conditions were provided by changing only the revolution number of the propeller to data as given in Table 3.3935 AE/A0=1.0192 1.002 -0.0747 0.6202 -0.462 11.0437 0.0197 -0.3805 -0.2669 -0.1301 -0. The design results of the three propellers with different loading conditions are compared with those of KT and KQ polynomials for the 4-bladed Wageningen B screw series developed in [31].003 0.1719 1.4573 0 -0.3214 0.1477 -4.5607 -4.3287 c 3.3615 3.818 d -10.0574 e 6.0608 6.0011 b -0.002 0.2266 e 10.658 -0.2633 1. The obtained propeller design and performance results (P/D.284 0.3924 7.5607 0.70 c d 3.878 0.0542 -0.4106 0.7135 3.3758 0 -0.7864 10KQ η0 F(k) P/D J KT 10KQ η0 F(k) P/D J KT 10KQ η0 -0.0795 e 15.0296 -0.9324 10KQ a 0.312 3.2892 0.8802 F(k) P/D J KT a 0.1537 0.9246 a 0..4778 0 -0.1517 -0.7354 -0. 123-129 127 .0022 3.1721 -0.4478 -0.001 -2.636 2.1959 AE/A0=0.7859 The practical design approach presented in this work allows the design of a four-bladed Wageningen B screw series propeller or the performance prediction of an existing propeller based on just only the “k” value given as in (9) and the blade area ratio.3695 -9.1394 f -11. the propeller designs were realized.0323 0 0. EKINCI Table 2 Coefficients of the F(k) equation with blade area ratio (AE/A0) Tablica 2 Koeficijenti iz jednadžbe F(k) s određenom vrijednosti omjera površina krila (AE/A0) AE/A0=0.0205 -0.1633 η0 -0. three propeller designs for medium..0283 -0.494 -9.7278 0.1721 0. KQ.0331 0. and it is seen that the order of the error values is in an acceptable range.4 F(k) P/D J KT 10KQ a 0.1506 -0.0085 -0.0042 b -0.0469 0.0664 -4.1875 7.0056 0.1208 g 3.161 1.6688 0.53 -7.327 -9. low and high thrust loading cases were realized.5572 -4. 4 Design applications For verification and to show usability of the presented approach.0053 1.5636 0.7324 -0.0345 1.3042 g 4. From the design variables of these three propellers.6709 1.1054 -0.7555 -2.2735 0.2659 0 -0.013 e 14.0723 0. 62(2011)2.55 c d 3. S.556 f -12.6798 -7.9192 f -6.0029 0.997 9.9928 0.0154 e 14.5196 f -9.5816 1.029 0.6128 -0.2038 1.5775 -7.2659 0 0.9072 η0 -0.0182 0 -0.1005 -3.4905 0.006 -0.1747 -0.3057 0.0794 AE/A0=0.0089 b -0.6654 0.3818 -6.166 0.3806 g 4.3023 -0.5028 -4.1156 6.0036 -0.3993 -0.175 3.5175 -0.1183 0.614 11.0879 -7.157 f -11.5878 0.85 c d 2.3058 -0.5054 -0.A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR DESIGN OF MARINE PROPELLERS WITH SYSTEMATIC.0 c d 1.4603 0.9103 -0.0236 b -0.0182 0 0.4465 0.7324 -0.603 -0.866 g 3.402 -4.4161 -0. The present approach is considered as a practical tool for propeller designers for use during the preliminary design stage as diagrams and empirical formulas.9103 0.9475 F(k) P/D J KT a 0.0005 0.53597 2. KT.2119 0. with the use of the open water curves of the Wageningen B screw series and the above presented empirical formulas.0016 0.7157 g 4.0837 0.2046 AE/A0=0.0112 0.0428 0.4116 -9.

1486 0.2170 0. 116 (1974). T.6703 design approaches for different propeller conditions for various given design variables.1497 10KQ 0.15 4 0..7 0.4854 1.W.1980 0.6780 0.: “A Design Method for Heavily Loaded Marine Propellers”.6050 % Error 5 Results Although the propeller designs can be made with computer programs based on circulation theory.: “A propeller design method”.7265 3. 63 (1955).S.0032 5. References [1] LERBS.1960 1.5 17. The results obtained from this method are compared with those of the open water diagrams. E. SNAME Trans. J.D. [8] KERWIN. 2 (1961).1129 0. thesis. this method can be applied in a rapid and accurate manner by the use of the given diagrams and empirical formulas as an alternative method to design with Bp-delta diagrams.4555 0.B. [3] GLOVER. [5] GUNER.8367 Open Water Diagram 0.9049 2.2637 0.90223 CTH=1. In this study the design applications for three propellers with different thrust loading conditions are taken into account for the presented method. M. . Vol.971 0.1480 Present Method 0.5099 0.2630 η0 0. D.3183 0. SNAME Trans..7300 3.6762 0.21875 0..E.E. McHUGH.8100 4. The presented method can be expanded to the remaining Wageningen B series (propellers other than the 4-bladed ones) or to other propeller series.2392 0.1883 % Error % Error 0.2602 0. [2] ECKHARDT.: “A Coupled Lifting Surface Analysis Technique for Marine Propulsors in Steady Flow”. H.D.7946 4.. Additionally.15 4 0.5540 0..7650 0. BLACK.. the advance coefficient (VA) and the propeller revolution number (n) are known.2616 0.0000 6. SNAME Trans.: “Numerical methods for propeller design and analysis in steady flow”. England (1994). TAYLOR.28326 0.7 0. University of Newcastle upon Tyne.15 4 0.5580 0.573 2. 123-129 1. No. (1997). M. KERWIN. 60 (1952).5 17.S. [7] PIEN. In this study a practical design approach is presented for the four-bladed Wageningen B series propellers for the cases where the delivered power (PD). Vol. The Naval Architect (1987).6024 0.0000 0.5 Taylor wake fraction Number of propeller blades (Z) Blade area ratio (AE/A0) 0.1470 Present Method 1.4660 0.: “A Rational Approach to the Design of Propulsors behind Axisymmetric Bodies”.6396 k=0.210 k=0. J.10025 CTH=0. [4] SZANTYR. Proceedings of Propeller/Shafting 1997 Symposium.4281 0.4338 Open Water Diagram 0. Ph. Vol.7 Propeller rate of rotation per minute (RPM) Table 4 Comparison of the propellers design results Tablica 4 Usporedba rezultata za projektirane vijke Propeller 1 Propeller 2 Propeller 3 k=0.: “An interactive program for design of ship propellers”.2078 4. Vol.J. 90 (1982)..E. A further aim is to present in the future similar diagrams and empirical expressions for practical propeller 128 62(2011)2. the prediction of the performance characteristics that is not possible with Bp-delta diagrams for an existing propeller can also be available by the present approach. S.2519 0.K. and a good agreement has been found. Further.483 0. EKINCI A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR DESIGN OF MARINE PROPELLERS WITH SYSTEMATIC.1480 Present Method 0.4010 CTH=1.41 2. RINA Trans.: “The Calculation of Marine Propellers Based on Lifting Surface Theory”. J.5440 0. Journal of Ship Research.0227 0. MORGAN.. Table 3 Design variables of the propellers Tablica 3 Projektne varijable vijaka Propeller 1 100 Propeller 2 200 Propeller 3 300 Delivered power (kW) 6090 6090 6090 Ship speed (knot) 17. P. W.1490 0. Virginia. [6] GREELEY. The primary advantage of this method is the practice of the design with a few design variables and the availability of the performance prediction. G.7355 P/D D J KT Open Water Diagram 1.C.P.4727 2. the conventional design method using propeller series based on model experiments remains the most applied method.7687 0.5550 0.: “Moderately Loaded Propellers with a Finite Numbers of Blades and an Arbitrary Distribution of Circulation”.36263 0.

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