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Ship rudders are generally situated in complex, highly turbulent flow fields. This offers opportunities for significant power savings by recovering some of the associated flow energy losses through customised design of the propulsion and steering system. The Becker Rudder Bulb provides such an optimised solution.
The streamlined bulb is positioned at the leading edge of the full spade rudder, situated aft of the propeller hub. The transition between bulb and propeller hub is bridged by a fairing cap. The Becker Rudder Bulb minimises energy losses behind the propeller hub by eliminating flow separation and reducing wasteful fluid turbulence. In addition, careful design of both the bulb geometry and twisted rudder leading edge ensures optimal energy recovery from the propeller slipstream.
The propeller hub fairing is designed to guide flow smoothly over the bulb. Thus, the hub fairing and the rudder bulb are developed as a single hydrodynamic entity from the outset.
Above: CFD simulation of energy losses in the water flow without (left) and with (right) a rudder bulb