INNOVATE UK SIF2 - MOTODRIVETRAIN
ZERO-CARBON MARINE PROPULSION FOR SMALL SHIPS
The International Maritime Organisation has shown that emissions from shipping jumped 70% since 1990 and global shipping emissions may reach 17% by 2050 (European parliament report). UK Shipping contributes annually 6 million tons of CO2e (Clean Maritime Plan DfT July 2019) and the resulting pollution contributes annually to 50,000 premature deaths in Europe costing society more than £50 billion (Transport & Environment NGO). In UK small ships vastly outnumber large marine vessels and collectively create far more pollution being on a par with that from the Heavy Goods Vehicle population.
In the sub-8m length boat market there are already a number of UK, EU and International brands competing with mostly electric outboards with single propellers powered by batteries capable of low-modest speeds. For the larger vessels, unless a diesel engine is simply replaced by an electric motor, there are very few cost-effective, innovative yet efficient ideas. There are prototype external propulsion packages (aka POD) designs with innovative but complex electric driven propeller driven water-jet solutions well-known for high efficiency at high speed (above 25-30 knots) but with poor efficiency at any slower speeds. With equivalent power sizes in range 110 - 220 kW they forecast perhaps a $20 billion market by 2027.
The Motodrivetrain(r) proposed meets the need for a simple concept, highly efficient electric marine propulsion cartridge unit for larger vessels (over 12m in length) which can also be retrofitted with Duodrive's TorqueFlange(tm) to existing fleets as well as to new builds without any design change otherwise demanded by other ePOD drives. The propulsion market for the Marine Electric Revolution (MER) will grow globally by $1.77 billion during 2020-2024. This experimental development project will focus on this totally disruptive approach built on the long history of the superior efficiency of contra-rotating propellers over both single propeller and waterjet. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics optimisation the best propeller configuration will be built & arranged on a custom rig for outdoor COVID-19 appropriate testing. At the same time, a project partner will determine the ideal design for the final product with "power saving" features. The concept will dramatically increase the electric drive propulsion efficiency for conventional as well as autonomous surface vessels (ASV) dramatically extending mission endurance and improving battery life.