New MHI propeller promises major fuel savings

MHI close-upNOVEMBER 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 Improvement-of-Blade-Tip-ShapeMHI 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.

MHI Pressure-distribution-on-BladeWith 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.