Marine propeller parametric optimisation and matching to electric motor

  • Crístofer H. MarquesEmail author
  • Carlos R. P. Belchior
  • J.-D. Caprace
Technical Paper


There is still room to establish a methodology to optimise marine propellers, considering design requirements of the vessel, and match it to an electric motor. The method proposed herein consists in an optimisation whose objective function is power required in the electric motor shaft, and design variables are the parameters of Wageningen B-screw series propellers. A differential evolution optimisation algorithm was programmed in MATLAB environment to assess a number of propeller designs. Technical constraints of strength, cavitation, and peripheral velocity were considered. An actual ferryboat designed to operate in a lake in south-eastern Brazil is proposed as the case study. The worst individual of the final population of propellers had its objective function increased by 25%, compared with the worst individual of the initial population, within only 123 s processing time. Substantially dissimilar propeller designs were found for direct and geared drive with open water propeller efficiency between 36.18 and 40.49%. The approach has shown significant gains as an early-stage design tool and highlighted the need for exploring a broad range of propellers to find the optimal motor–propeller matching.


Three-phase induction motor Direct drive Indirect drive Electric propulsion 



This work was conducted at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro during the first authors doctoral scholarship, financed by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) within the Ministry of Education of Brazil.


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crístofer H. Marques
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos R. P. Belchior
    • 2
  • J.-D. Caprace
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EngineeringFederal University of Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Naval and Oceanic EngineeringFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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