New controllable pitch propellers by Bruntons

Bruntons Propellers launched a new range of controllable pitch propellers (CPP) designed for installations up to 2,000hp. Controllable pitch is already in use, especially for commercial vessels: Bruntons’ new CPP offering is all the same innovative.

Engineering has been improved to address issues such as excessive blade wear and high spindle loads. Moreover, the pitch features an intelligent control system monitoring fuel consumption – or battery use for hybrid or electrical propulsion systems – speed, load, weather and sea conditions, and it automatically adjusts propeller pitch to maintain speed at maximum fuel efficiency.

“It’s a conventional system that’s based on a previous design, and we got some development funds to basically redesign it and play around both with the configuration of the hub and also the blade design,” explains David Sheppard, Bruntons Propellers’ manager. “We also worked in conjunction with another company to develop the control system – it maps into the engine and can monitor the fuel consumption and adjust the pitch setting of the propeller accordingly.” Moreover, the control system has additional benefits when used on a hybrid system, including the ability not only to optimise battery usage but also to optimise the regeneration of electricity.

“The control system is an option that is available,” Sheppard says, “but it’s not a prerequisite for every unit – it depends on what the client wants to achieve. But I think modern, larger yachts things are getting a bit more technical and complex and they are looking for more efficient ways of doing things. So this is a control system that can keep the fuel costs down. We can supply the entire package – the propeller, the shafts, whether you have an hydraulic system or a CPP gearbox on the back of the engine, and also the controls although you can use a number of companies’ control systems with our CPP.”

On top of its existing Varfifold option – currently available in sizes up to 45 inches – the new CPP system will be especially targeted at larger sailing yachts which can benefit from the ability to feather the prop and reduce drag while sailing. A niche market to which Bruntons aims to supply its new product.

Bruntons’ future products could soon be announced to address the superyacht market as well. Larger versions of the CPP produced by Bruntons’ sister company Stone Marine Propulsions are ready for installations in excess of 2,000 hp and a contract for thruster systems and larger CPP systems for the commercial market and the superyacht sector is about to be signed.

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