View of RFA Fort Austin Propeller in dry dock

Marine Power and Propulsion

BMT Defence Services has an extensive Marine Power and Propulsion Systems (PPS) capability which provides design and development studies for whole platform projects, from landing craft through to oil tankers, submarines and frigates.

Power and Propulsion Machinery SelectionPerformance Assessment | Ship Impact and Military Performance Assessments | Propulsion for Novel Hullforms | Lifecycle Analysis and Investment Appraisals | Safety Appraisals


Power and Propulsion Machinery Selection

Ship operating profiles have differing and complex modes of operation, requiring suitable power and propulsion machinery for benefits such as improved commercial flexibility and/or reduced fuel consumption. By working with customers to establish requirements and various trade-offs (such as acquisition and through-life costs, technology introduction risks and benefits), BMT helps to select the appropriate power and propulsion configuration for early and developed stages of ship design. We assess a broad range of design solutions, including simple mechanical design, all-electric design and hybrid model arrangements. We undertake full testing of the options and refine them through full analysis of system behaviour. Our in-depth knowledge of equipment and our independence from manufacturers’ interests guarantees impartiality in our advice, allowing for a robust final design selection that wholly meets the requirement criteria.

Performance Assessment

 Analysing key performance features and suitability of power and propulsion systems allows vessel designers and operators to select the best solution for the given ship’s operating profile. At BMT Defence Services we have been conducting power and propulsion performance assessments for over a decade, from the Queen Mary 2 to the new MARS tanker for the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Our approach combines an in-house equipment data library with a range of standard output graphs and reports to test design and equipment suitability in the concept and feasibility stages of a design. It also allows us to assess the impact of design changes to existing power and propulsion systems so that optimum whole life costs can be maintained. 

Ship Impact and Military Performance Assessments

Military capability is key to the existence of a naval vessel. This capability must be understood in the early concept and feasibility design stages in order to specify power and propulsion options.

Power and performance for each part of the system and for each speed must be defined in order to determine machinery set-ups. For any given propulsion arrangement, BMT can identify the indicative behaviour of key military parameters such as range and endurance, propeller noise and the variation of engine exhaust temperatures with speed. We are able to conduct high level studies in a short timeframe in order to assess the suitability of a design for a range of ship operations. 

Propulsion for Novel Hullforms

 Each vessel has specific propulsion needs depending on its performance requirements. To meet these needs, a range of propulsor and drive solutions are available. Using its own proprietary software, BMT Defence Services can choose the correct size and configuration of propulsion solutions based on the operating profile and the space allocated to propulsion machinery. We analyse the combinations of propulsor types, engine and drive solutions, including choice of propeller to identify the best fit for performance required at the range of operating speeds.

Lifecycle Analysis and Investment Appraisals

The identification of engine loading, running hours and fuel consumption allows BMT to assess the technical, commercial and life-cycle cost aspects of each solution set. Our whole PPS performance modelling, analysis and assessment allows the best machinery design to be selected for whole life and mission fuel efficiency.  Emissions studies can also be undertaken to allow the environmental impact to be assessed. We use root-cause analysis to identify reliability issues, technology modelling and maturity studies. This allows technologies which are proven in other domains to be migrated to the marine system in order to exploit the efficiencies they offer.

Safety Appraisals

To meet safety requirements, BMT can perform crash-stop and slam-start simulations to allow the dynamic capability of the ship’s PPS to be assessed. Using the data gathered, equipment and system specifications can be created to not only meet the regulatory environment the ship will be working in, but to also meet the requirements of the owner and the operational capability of the ship.

Careers with BMT Defence Services

Visit our careers area for more information on the competitive benefits at BMT Defence Services and find out about the individuals we like to recruit.

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