Alan C. McClure Associates (ACMA), announces that the company recently successfully completed several Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations of propeller flow for a vessel owner/operator.

“Traditional model testing for propellers has usually relied on scale models, and frequently neglects the effects of flow about the vessel hull prior to encountering the propeller. Full-scale testing is often impractical and introduces additional environmental variables to the test data,” says Darrel Harvey, the Houston-based naval architecture and engineering firm’s vice president, in a company press release.

“On the other hand,” Harvey continues, “CFD allows for full-scale simulations of not only a rotating propeller, but also of flow around a hull form, rudders and associated structural elements. This type of simulation captures effects of hull form on the uniformity of flow in three dimensions, identifying differences in flow velocity entering the propeller from top to bottom and side to side. In this particular case, our simulations verified what the vessel had been experiencing during operations.”

“A detailed CFD analysis including a rotating propeller can capture the dynamic effects of impulse loading on the hull as well as the interaction of flow with steering equipment,” adds Scott McClure, ACMA’s president. “ACMA has also performed simplified propeller flow analyses by simulating the propeller as a momentum source, governed by performance curves.

“Bottom line,” McClure concludes, “this advanced analysis can save owner/operators a considerable amount of time and money by identifying potential problems prior to construction.”