Alan C. McClure Completes CFD Propeller Flow Simulations

Published Jul 10, 2012 4:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

Alan C. McClure Associates (ACMA), one of the industry’s premier naval architecture and engineering firms, announced today that the company has successfully completed several Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of propeller flow for a vessel owner/operator, continuing its tradition of delivering cutting-edge engineering design and analysis.

According to ACMA Vice President Darrel Harvey, “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.”

“On the other hand,” noted Harvey, “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.”

ACMA President Scott McClure commented, “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. ACMA has also performed simplified propeller flow analyses by simulating the propeller as a momentum source, governed by performance curves.”

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