NOVEMBER 8, 2012 — Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has introduced a high performance propeller that it says can improve the propeller efficiency of containerships by 5 percent. This yields a potential annual savings in fuel costs of up to $1 million.
The propeller, the MAP Mark W, is especially suitable for retrofitting to in-service vessels. To minimize the initial cost for retrofitting to MAP Mark-W, MHI says it will buy the old propeller replaced by the new high performance unit.
MHI notes that, in general, improving both propeller efficiency and cavitation performance conflicts and it is hard to improve both at the same time. The MAP Mark-W, however, keeps the cavitation performance even after improving propeller efficiency thanks to the form of the tip of the blades.
MHI received its first MAP Mark-W order in 2010 for a bulk carrier application and since then it has also been ordered for pure car carriers. Currently, six MAP Mark-W units are in service and MHI says all of them have reached the expected performance level.
With many commercial ships currently slow steaming, MHI says that the MAP Mark-W improves propeller efficiency under all conditions for all vessels, and also provide the best performance under slow streaming and other operational modes by optimizing the design in each condition.