An experimental study of the mixing performance of boat propellers

Loberto, Anthony (2007) An experimental study of the mixing performance of boat propellers. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Two-stroke outboard boat engines using total loss lubrication deposit a significant proportion of their lubricant and fuel directly into the water environment. Extensive atmospheric emission testing of outboard motors has taken place, however, emissions to the water are largely unaddressed in the literature and could be critical because the exhaust of most outboard engines is released below the water and mixed by the action of the propeller. The purpose of this work is to document the velocity and scalar field characteristics of a submerged swirling jet emanating from a propeller. The aim is to provide guidance on fundamental characteristics of such a jet, far enough downstream that it is relevant to the eventual modelling of this mixing problem (i.e. the mixing of engine emissions with water). Measurements of the velocity field (axial, tangential, and radial) and scalar field (concentration) were performed in a turbulent jet generated by a model boat propeller (0.02 m diameter) operating in a weak co-flow of 0.04 ms-1. The measurements were carried out up to 50 propeller diameters downstream of the source which was placed in a glass-walled flume, 0.4 m wide with a free surface depth of 0.15 m. The jet and scalar plume development were compared to that of a classical free round jet. Further, results with respect to velocity distribution, turbulence decay and integral flow properties plus scalar distribution, dilution and integral plume properties were all calculated and compared to existing literature. The velocity field results are the first published results to show the development of the flow fifty propeller diameters downstream. Up to ten propeller diameters downstream the results corroborate the earlier work of Petersson [1, 2]. Beyond ten propeller diameters downstream, the walls of the flume affected the flow. The concentration field results show that under these experimental conditions the propeller induced mixing exhibited a complete mixing length some 300 times shorter than for the wall-shear induced diffusion alone. Furthermore, a first principles relation was derived that illustrates the link between engine emission rate and propeller kinematics in generating the propeller-jet source concentration of pollutants. Using experimental results an estimate for benzene concentration fifty propeller diameters downstream of a 74 kW vessel was calculated to be around one third of the regulatory threshold for that chemical.

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ID Code: 16619
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Brown, Richard & Hargreaves, Douglas
Keywords: boat propellers, mixing performance
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Anthony Loberto
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:07
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:50

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