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CFD and FEM model of an underwater vehicle propeller


Within the framework of the project for design and optimization of the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), research on its propulsion has been carried out. The entire project was supported by CFD and FEM calculations taking into account the characteristics of the underwater vehicle. One of the tasks was to optimize the semi-open duct for horizontal propellers, which provided propulsion and controllability in horizontal plane. In order to create a measurable model of this task it was necessary to analyze numerical methodology of propeller design, along with the structure of a propellers with nozzles and contra-rotating propellers. It was confronted with theoretical solutions which included running of the analyzed propeller near an underwater vehicle. Also preliminary qualitative analyses of a simplified system with contra-rotating propellers and a semi-open duct were carried out. The obtained results enabled to make a decision about the ROVs duct form. The rapid prototyping SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) method was used to fabricate a physical model of the propeller. As a consequence of this, it was necessary to verify the FEM model of the propeller, which based on the load obtained from the CFD model. The article contains characteristics of the examined ROV, a theoretical basis of propeller design for the analyzed cases, and the results of CFD and FEM simulations.


ROV, ROV propeller, semi-open duct for horizontal propellers, rapid prototyping propeller


Vol. 21 No. 3(83) (2014)
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  • Tadeusz Chruściel

    Gdańsk University of Technology
  • Ewelina Ciba

    Gdańsk University of Technology
  • Julita Dopke

    Gdańsk University of Technology

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