Kongsberg Maritime has successfully adapted a propeller concept used in naval applications, aiming to provide operational and environmental benefits to commercial shipping customers. By deploying such a technology can significantly reduce cavitation-induced noise and erosion risk.
Kongsberg Blade Air Emission technology is now being applied to commercial ship propellers to limit the effect of underwater radiated noise on marine life. The Blade Air Emission concept applies the results of research undertaken at the Kongsberg Hydrodynamic Research Centre (KHRC) in Kristinehamn, Sweden, to create a more silent propeller.
Propellers accept cavitation to enhance ship performance and efficiency, but by carefully balancing the amount of air circulated around the blades, Kongsberg Maritime can improve the negative effects of cavitation without significanty affecting ship efficiency.
Göran Grunditz, Manager, KHRC, commented on the occasion:
"We see huge benefits in the commercial world for the Blade Air Emission technology. While there are financial advantages in reducing the cost of repairing or replacing propeller blades damaged by cavitation erosion, the concept minimises substantially the underwater radiated noise from a ship’s propeller, which in some cases can be 180dB"
Mr. Grunditz added that underwater noise is a major environmental problem and is already being considered at a regulatory level. It affects the migratory, reproduction and feeding patterns of marine life, such as dolphins, whales and other species. It also causes high levels of stress for marine life.