In this study, the scale effect on the performance of the podded propeller of tractor type is investigated. Turbulent flow computations are carried out for Reynolds numbers increasing progressively from model scale to full scale using the CFD analysis. The result of the flow calculation for model scale Reynolds numbers agrees well with that of the experiment of a large cavitation tunnel. The existing numerical analysis indicates that the performance of the podded propeller blades is mainly influenced by the advance coefficient and relatively little by the Reynolds number. However, the drag of pod housing with propeller in operation is different from that of pod housing without propeller due to the acceleration and swirl of propeller slipstream which is altered by propeller loading as well as the pressure recovery and friction according to Reynolds number, which suggests that the pod housing drag under the condition of propeller in operation is the key factor of the scale effect on the performance between model and full scale podded propellers. The so called ‘drag ratio’, which is the ratio of pod housing drag to total thrust of podded propeller, increases as the advance coefficient increases due to accelerated flow in the slipstream of the podded propeller. However, the increasing rate of the drag ratio reduces continuously as the Reynolds number increases from model to full scale progressively. The contribution of hydrodynamic forces, which acts on the parts composed of the pod housing with propeller operating in various loading conditions, to the thrust and the torque of the total propeller unit are presented for a range of Reynolds numbers from model to full scales.
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