In this paper, a boundary element method (BEM) is applied to a tip loaded propeller (TLP) to predict its open water characteristics and induced hull pressures under fully-wetted and uniform inflow. Tip of a TLP blade has a winglet-like tip plate on the pressure side to improve the overall propeller efficiency over the traditional open tip propellers by preventing circulation loss toward the tip region. TLPs are also used to reduce the tip vortex strength and thus free from the trade off the propeller efficiency against the cavitation performance; therefore, predicting their performance early in the designing stage via numerical applications can provide the initial knowledge on the loading distributions and cavitation performance. In the present method, the trailing wake is first aligned using the full wake alignment (FWA) scheme by aligning the wake surface to the local stream in order to satisfy the force free condition. The FWA is shown to improve the open water characteristics of the TLPs compared to the simplified alignment scheme that ignores the details of the flow behind the trailing edge due to the simplicity of the method. Afterwards, a pressure-BEM solver is used to solve for the diffraction potentials on the hull and estimate the propeller-induced hull pressures. In this case, both the FWA and the unsteady wake alignment scheme (UWA), which considers the time dependency of the problem, produce the same results as the testing flow is assumed to be uniform. This paper briefly introduces the model TLP, proper ways to consider the viscous effect on the blade surface, wake alignment scheme, and the pressure-BEM solver. Then, the predicted open water characteristics of the benchmark TLP and its induced hull pressures are compared to the experimental data, as well as the results from unsteady full-blown Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations for validations of the numerical predictions.

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