Hydrodynamic performance of a rim-driven thruster improved with gap geometry adjustment
Journal article, 2023

The hubless rim-driven thruster (RDT) has become increasingly interesting for ship propulsion. Gap flow has been proven as the main feature of RDT that cannot be simply neglected. In this study, based on a classical hubless RDT, the effects of the gap geometry are studied by adjusting its axial passage length, and inlet and outlet oblique angles. The hydrodynamic characteristics of the RDT were simulated with OpenFOAM based on the k – ω shear stress transport turbulence model. Due to the pressure increase after the main flow passes through the rotating blades, the flow inside gap is driven upstream, which is opposite to the main flow direction. It is found that the hydrodynamic efficiency is increased as the gap axial passage length is shortened, which is realized by increasing the oblique angle with the fixed inlet and outlet positions. Moving the inlet and outlet to further downstream and upstream positions has negligible effects on the hydrodynamic efficiency and leads to recirculating flow within the gap near its inlet. These findings shed light on the design of the gap geometry to improve the RDT hydrodynamic performance.

Hubless rim-driven thruster

gap flow

numerical simulation

hydrodynamic performance


Lin Jianfeng

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

Huadong Yao

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

Chao Wang

Yumin Su

Chun Yang

Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics

1994-2060 (ISSN) 1997-003X (eISSN)

Vol. 17 1 2183902

Pilot Study of Electric Hubless Rim-Driven Propellers for Transport in Inland Waterways

Lighthouse (FS24_2022/Hållbar sjöfart), 2022-01-01 -- 2022-12-31.

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Applied Mechanics

Water Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics

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