As a result of stricter environment regulation, ships will have to use renewable fuels more frequently in the future instead of diesel. This means that the familiar ship diesel engines will be gradually replaced by new technologies, such as gas engines and fuel cells.
Often these systems have already been tested on land, but are they also safe for use in the open sea? To find answers to these questions, research Arthur Vrijdag and PhD candidate Lode Huijgens, who work at the Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (MTT), developed a globally unique Propeller Open Water (POW) setup.
Propeller Open Water setup
What makes the POW setup special and unique is that it combines hydrodynamic and mechanical engineering aspects of ship propulsion in a unique way. Normally, these issues are almost always dealt with separately. Mechanical engineering aspects, such as the behaviour of engines and fuel cells, are often simulated on computers, while complex hydrodynamics are examined with scale models in the towing tank. The POW setup connects both of these aspects and their interactions through powerful computers, in which simulation models of ship propulsion machines can be seen and connected to scale models of the propeller.
Source: “Digital engine room in the towing tank”, Delft University of Technology