Project launches to design next generation of sustainable composite propulsion systems

World-leading propeller, stern gear and propulsion product designer and manufacturer Teignbridge Propellers International Ltd has launched an exciting project to improve the design and modelling of a scalable composite propulsion system, with a propeller diameter up to 6 metres (19 feet).

Superyacht propellers project

The CAPSULE project is a feasibility study aimed at adapting composite material technology developed for the aviation industry to the marine industry, including superyachts. This technology has the potential to not only directly reduce greenhouse emissions but also enable the transition to low emission and zero carbon energy systems such as batteries, fuel cells or hydrogen.

Teignbridge will be partnering with the National Composites Centre (NCC) who, as an integral part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, aim to accelerate the growth of UK industrial output by enabling design and manufacturing enterprises to deliver winning solutions in the application of composites. The NCC will bring their expertise to support this new application of composites through material selection, manufacturing process selection, composite design techniques and testing guidance.

Mark Phare, director at Teignbridge, commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with the National Composites Centre on this feasibility study and are confident that the output of the project will be the preliminary design of a composite propulsion system that maximises the opportunities and benefits of composite materials to improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable the use of low energy density and zero carbon fuels.  This new range of stern gear components represents a new direction for Teignbridge, and we are excited to explore this technology within the marine industry.”

Gary Offord, technology programme manager for NCC Surface Transport, added, “We are very excited about the opportunity this collaboration offers the UK. Teignbridge have a fantastic history in bronze cast precision performance propellers and stern gear. Merging their maritime and product knowledge with the NCC’s composite expertise creates the perfect partnership for success and a real opportunity to offer the market products that facilitate a route to net zero targets.”

yacht propellers project

Decarbonising marine transport to contribute to the UK's target of net zero by 2050, and the International Maritime Organisation's target of a 50% reduction by 2050, is a challenging and multifaceted problem. It requires new technology to improve energy efficiency and therefore assist with the switch from fossil fuel to low greenhouse gas (GHG) propulsion system alternatives.

Project CAPSULE is funded through the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition which is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

Announced in March 2020, and part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a £20 million (c. €23.5 million) investment from the government alongside a further c. £10 million (c. €11.7 million) from the industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector.

The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and from the South West to the North East of England. As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), government funding has been used to support early-stage research relating to clean maritime. The programme will be used to support the research, design and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.

For more information, visit Teignbridge. For more news and yachting tips, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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