For his masters thesis on the optimization of a rim-driven thruster for an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV), Heinrich Grümmer was honored one of the two first prices at the Students meet Industry event in 2016. The Schiffbautechnische Gesellschaft e.V. (STG) yearly awards students for their naval architecture related thesis, based on presentations given at the event. He gave his presentation again this month at the STG general meeting in Hamburg. The following section gives a short summary plus a video with an animation.
Propulsion Unit of an Autonomous Surface Vessel
In the design of autonomous, unmanned surface vessels, particular attention needs to be paid to meet the special requirements placed upon the propulsion unit of such system. The concept of using a hubless rim-driven thruster offers several advantages compared to a conventional propeller, shaft and rudder system, but is also challenging when it comes to efficient design using an upfront Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach. A computational setup, enhanced by empirical models accounting for the neglect of friction within nozzle and rim, is derived from comparison with existing experimental findings. Subsequently, an optimization, based on towing tank tests of the hull, a fully parametric model of the thruster, an automatic grid generation process and the evolved CFD setup is carried out. Numerous variants are examined, and a single-objective algorithm leads to an optimized thruster design for the aXatlantic hull which represents the practical background of this work.
Heinrich Grümmer has been working on the design and construction of a solar powered, unmanned ASV for the past two years within the aXatlantic project. Since the initial hull design of the vessel and throughout the entire design process, as well as the master thesis, CAESES® has been closely integrated into his work. We congratulate to the award and keep our thumbs pressed for the final ocean crossing of the aXatlantic.
Please see the STG website for more information.