New propeller design improves fuel efficiency by 15 per cent

New propeller design improves fuel efficiency by 15 per cent
Image courtesy of Sharrow Engineering

Philadelphia-based design firm Sharrow Engineering has received patents in the US, Japan, Canada, and European Union with further domestic and international patents pending for its propeller design that promises to increase efficiency between nine and 15 per cent.

Sharrow’s propeller provides a wider peak efficiency curve for greater utility over a wide scope of operational ranges, and a 17 per cent reduction in torque while accelerating.

The propeller has been in development for six years. Sharrow Engineering has analysed data collected by the University of Michigan’s Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory and implemented an in-water test program using manned vessels in lakes, rivers, and bays.

Test results showed the propeller is between nine and 15 per cent more efficient that the industry standard Wageningen B-series design.

Greg Sharrow, CEO, Sharrow Engineering, stated: “The ability to meaningfully reduce fuel costs is the holy grail for marine transportation companies. One ship can burn millions upon millions of dollars’ worth of fuel every single year.  So, we believe the gains in efficiency that our technology is demonstrating will truly shake this industry up as we get to market, especially as the 2020 sulphur regulations continue to edge closer.”

With the 2020 sulphur cap approaching and expected increases in fuel prices, Mr Sharrow added: “Stricter regulations on sulphur levels will add many millions more to the expense column for individual operators and billions to the industry’s overall fuel spend. But we believe our product, with its price parity and unprecedented gains in efficiency, can be the critical difference between ships that burn more fuel and more cash in 2020, versus ships that find calm seas heading into 2020 and beyond.”

The Sharrow Propeller can be manufactured in all traditional propeller alloys and materials to match any size and blade number configuration and retrofit without any engineering challenges. The propeller is suitable for freighters, tankers, workboats and even recreational vessels.

The new designs have been validated through 3rd party independent computational analysis, as well as laboratory model testing and through sea trials on specially instrumented test vessels

Additionally, the final phase of testing on its core propeller product has been completed.