Retractable Propulsion Tunnel in the Europort 2013 Spotlight

By George Backwell at October 25, 2013 23:37
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Van der Velden Marine Systems will be highlighting a new propulsion tunnel developed specifically for inland vessels at the upcoming Europort 2013 Expo in Rotterdam: what’s different about this tunnel is that it’s completely retractable, and for very good reason.Fixed tunnels are commonly used on inland ships to provide a proper water flow into the propellers in shallow waters, but the downside of this arrangement is that it has been found that loaded inland ships sail in deeper waters about 85% of the time, where the tunnel simply acts as a drag. The increased hull frictional resistance, due to the permanently installed tunnel, results in reduced efficiency and consequent higher fuel consumption most of the time. Inland waterway tankship: Photo courtesy of Van der Velden Sizing up this contradiction of purposes, Van der Velden hit on the idea of a fully retractable tunnel, turning for help in the development of the concept to the German research institute DST (Development ... [More]

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