DECEMBER 2, 2016 — Wärtsilä EnergoProFin is now available for controllable pitch propellers (CPP) as well as fixed pitch propellers (FPP).
The specially designed propeller cap has hydrofoil-section fins on the downstream side of the propeller, creating fuel savings of up to five percent.
Propeller caps with fins have been around for three decades, but their application has so far been primarily on FPPs. The view of the industry was that applying an energy saving device such as Wärtsilä EnergoProFin to the technologically more challenging CPP would not be possible.
Wärtsilä took on the development task and thanks to the work of its hydrodynamics team has succeeded in creating a product that offers vessels equipped with a CPP an opportunity to reduce their energy consumption. Wärtsilä's development work was a spin-off of an EU-funded collaborative project between Wärtsilä and nine other companies.
The Wärtsilä EnergoProFin, which rotates with the propeller, is optimized for propulsion upgrades of existing vessels and as such can be easily mounted without the need for complex structural changes.
The device is designed to minimize the losses in the vortex leaving the propeller by transforming rotational energy into effective thrust, resulting in an efficiency increase that brings up to five percent fuel savings.
Even with current low fuel prices, the payback time for the investment is generally less than two years and can be as short as less than a year.
"Customers in today's uncertain economic situation need solutions that are reliable, cost-effective and easy to invest in," says Tamara de Gruyter, Vice President, Propulsion System Services, Wärtsilä Services. "Energy efficiency solutions in general are a sound investment, as their impact on both operating costs and environmental compliance is a lasting one. We want to help ship operators optimise their existing assets, and that is exactly what Wärtsilä EnergoProFin does, now for controlled pitch propellers as well."
Customers have welcomed the opportunity to improve their efficiency. Grandi Navi Veloci S.p.A. (GNV), which operates 10 international routes to and from Spain, France, Albania, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta, and five national lines within Italy, is constantly investing in the energy optimization of its fleet.
"The strength of our company is the extreme and constant attention to the energy efficiency of our fleet," says Antonio Campagnuolo, Marine Operations Director of GNV. "We wanted to reblade two units of our fleet. After Wärtsilä further presented the EnergoProFin to us and once we analyzed its performance and the resulting energy efficiency improvements, we decided to go ahead with the reblading and have the EnergoProFin solution installed in both our units."