Propeller Cleaning Technique Boasts Fuel Savings

By MarEx 2014-01-28 14:13:00

Hydrex is excited about the success of its new approach to propeller cleaning. The traditional approach in the industry is to let the propeller get good and fouled and build up a calcareous growth and maybe polish it in the water once or twice a year or in drydock. This polishing is done with a grinding disk and  can be quite damaging to the propeller. By the very fact of using a grinding disk, a substantial amount of metal is removed from the propeller itself. This can alter the shape and efficiency, cause roughness and increase rather than reduce friction. It can also be a source of marine pollution which is a problem in a number of ports.

About a year ago, Hydrex discovered that more frequent, lighter cleaning of the propeller using a different tool to a grinding disk, and catching the propeller before a calcareous layer builds up is actually the optimum approach to propeller cleaning. If done right and done regularly it can result in 5% or even more fuel savings. Obviously for a ship that has even a medium level of fuel consumption, this savings far outweighs the cost of the propeller cleaning itself. Because the propeller is being cleaned regularly, the cleaning is relatively light and quick. No material is ground away, which is good for the propeller and the environment. The propeller is kept in an ultra-smooth condition (Rubert A or A+) and that’s where the real fuel savings can be achieved. This finish can only be accomplished with in-water propeller cleaning.

Fuel prices are climbing. As new low sulfur fuel requirements come into force, the prices are going to go even higher. A 5% savings of the propulsive fuel costs for the ship can make a huge difference to the bottom line.

Many Hydrex customers who have availed themselves of this service have noticed a remarkable difference in their fuel efficiency after each cleaning.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.