Energy balance analysis of a propeller in open water
Journal article, 2018

This paper proposes a methodology based on control volume analysis of energy, applied on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) results, for analyzing ship propulsion interaction effects as a complement to the well-established terminology, including thrust deduction, wake fraction and propulsive efficiency. The method, titled Energy Balance Analysis, is demonstrated on a propeller operating in open water. Through consideration of a complete energy balance, including kinetic energy flux, turbulent kinetic energy flux, internal energy flux (originating from dissipation) and pressure work, all possible hydrodynamic losses are included in the analysis, implying that it should be possible to avoid sub-optimized solutions. The results for different control volumes and grid refinements are compared. The deviation of the power obtained from the proposed energy balance analysis relative to the power based on integrated forces on the propeller is less than 1%. The method is considered promising for analyzing and understanding propulsor hull interaction for conventional, as well as novel propulsion configurations. The energy balance analysis is conducted as a post-processing step and could be used in automated optimization procedures.

Reynolds transport theorem

Hydrodynamic losses


Propeller in open water

Energy balance


Jennie Andersson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Arash Eslamdoost

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Alexandre Capitao Patrao

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Marko Hyensjö

Rolls-Royce (Swe)

Rickard Bensow

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Ocean Engineering

0029-8018 (ISSN)

Vol. 158 162-170

Analysis and optimisation of marine propulsion systems

Swedish Energy Agency (38849-1), 2014-10-06 -- 2017-09-30.

Rolls-Royce (Swe), 2014-10-06 -- 2017-09-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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