19Sep2017Headlines:

Adjustable Propeller Pitch

Adjustable propeller pitch is an important capability in the shipping industry since in increases fuel efficiency, speed and thus of a vessel, with this in mind designs must constantly we modified to further improve economy and production on each vessel. The technology is more commonly used in the navy and cost guard  but is a major requirement that commercial vessel companies would like to see being added to ships and boats, this is not so simple to do since the specialized propeller are complicated and increase maintenance requirements on-board marine vessel.

adjustable propeller pitch

adjustable propeller pitch

The propeller are also considerable more expensive and must be specially made for most vessels.

Although the marine industry  are pressuring engineers to develop adjustable propellers for commercial vessels, engineers argue that the safety of vessel must be considered as priority and current adjustable propeller pitch designed may not have attained the required levels required. Reliability is a major concern in the commercial shipping industry, due to tight schedules that vessel must meet, this is brought about due to fluctuating world market prices of commodities. Delay due to breakdown or mechanical failure could lead to million of dollars’ of losses to the concerned parties, with this factor in mind many commercial shipping companies maintain the pressure to deliver efficient propeller while relying on the more efficient fixed props.

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Currently the designs are in use on navy and coast guard vessel that pursue suspects or defend nations from invasion, some specialized vessel have been installed with the adjustable propeller to be able to deliver more thrust thus moving faster and covering more distance over a shorter time. Many of the vessels installed with this adjustable propeller are designed to sprint and carry fewer loads to reduce drag and pressure exerted on the propeller and transmission. Commercial marine vessels are responsible for caring thousand of tons of weight and the adjustable propeller are yet to be tested on commercial vessel.

Not all commercial vessel owners require this adjustment either, it has been noted that the oil tanker sector is the most in requirement of the adjustable propeller pitch, this is due to the fact that majority of the vessel travel empty one way of their trip only loaded while moving from oil field to consumer and empty while travelling back. Even when empty oil tankers have been noted to consumer large volumes of fuel, to reduce this unnecessary usage of fuel vessel owners propose that oil tankers should be fitted with adjustable propeller pitch to help increase thrust and reduce fuel used while empty.

The research is still ongoing, and engineers showing concerns over safety and viol-ability  they argue that these concerns must be solved before any designed approved as that matter of safety and reliability must be addressed and solutions found. Until then engineers hope to improve aluminum props to increase fuel efficiency as aluminum designs have already be proven to be both reliable and safe to use in the commercial sector.

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