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Chapter 2 Propulsion Systems. Chapter 3 Propeller Geometry. Chapter 4 The Propeller Environment.

Technical Specs

Chapter 5 The Ship Wake Field. Chapter 6 Propeller Performance Characteristics. Chapter 7 Theoretical Methods Basic Concepts. Chapter 16 Waterjet Propulsion. Chapter 17 FullScale Trials. Chapter 18 Propeller Materials.

Chapter 19 Propeller Blade Strength. Chapter 20 Propeller Manufacture. Chapter 21 Propeller Blade Vibration.

Chapter 22 Propeller Design. Chapter 23 Operational Problems. Chapter 9 Cavitation. Chapter 10 Propeller Noise. However, a disadvantage is the large amount of space taken up by the motor and the gearbox that are conventionally placed in front of the waterjet inside the vessel.

Waterjet Propulsion

The motor drives the waterjet by a transmission that adapts the rotational speed of the motor to that of the waterjet. A drive shaft with flexible couplings at each end, a shaft tube and a water seal connect the transmission to the impeller of the waterjet. The shaft and shaft tube pass through the waterjet intake duct, obstructing the water flow in the intake duct to the impeller, lowering the efficiency of the waterjet.

Waterjets are typically driven by internal combustion engines, which are both heavy and noisy. Also, in recent years, battery technology has developed rapidly, to the point where the stored energy densities of some batteries make electric propulsion of marine vessels a possibility. Further, advances in semiconductor switching technology enable numerous electric motor developments that would not have been possible in the past.

It is an object of this invention is to provide a marine propulsion system that is will take advantage of new battery technology and the anticipated introduction of cost-effective fuel cells as energy sources for marine propulsion systems.

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It is an object of this invention in the field of marine propulsion to provide a propulsion system that is highly compact. Still another object if this invention is to provide a marine propulsion system that is quiet. Yet another object of this invention is to provide a marine propulsion system that is more efficient than traditional waterjets.


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These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following descriptions and from the drawings. The invention is a marine waterjet propulsion system having an impeller with an impeller hub, a diffusor with a diffusor hub, and a motor driving the impeller, the motor being placed inside at least one of said impeller and diffusor hubs.

In highly preferred embodiments of the invention, the motor of the inventive marine waterjet propulsion system is an electric motor. Alternately, the motor may be a hydraulic motor. In other preferred embodiments, the marine waterjet propulsion system includes a bearing which rotatively supports the impeller with respect to the diffusor hub. In still other preferred embodiments of the invention, the marine waterjet propulsion system further includes a transmission connecting the motor in a drive relationship with the impeller.

In yet other embodiments of the inventive waterjet system, the system includes an oil circulation pump, whereby the pump causes oil to lubricate the bearing, the motor, and the transmission.


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  8. In another embodiment of the invention, the marine waterjet propulsion system also includes an oil cooler. The pump causes oil to pass through the bearing, the motor, the transmission, and the cooler for removal of heat from the propulsion system. In a highly preferred embodiment of the invention, the motor includes a first hollow shaft and the impeller is driven through a second hollow shaft, such first and second hollow shafts functioning as oil channels to lubricate the bearing.

    Referring to FIGS.

    Chapter 10 A 12

    Waterjet 4 includes an intake duct 17 , a diffusor 18 with a diffusor hub 16 , and an impeller 6 driven by an electric motor 5. Motor 5 is held rigidly in diffusor hub 16 by a bearing housing 23 which, in turn are held in place by a set of bolts The motor speed is reduced to the operating speed of impeller 6 by planetary speed reducing transmission 7. Impeller 6 is supported rotatively by a bearing pack 8.

    The power to motor 5 comes from an electric power source such as a battery not shown through leads 9. Motor 5 is preferably a brushless DC motor. A motor armature 12 is fixed in a motor housing 13 ; a rotor 14 is supported by motor bearings 15 ; a hollow motor shaft 19 has a sun gear 20 at a forward end 19 F of shaft 19 and drives a set of planetary gears A ring gear 22 is fixed in bearing housing A hollow impeller shaft 24 is driven by a set of planetary gear yoke pins Two pump bearings 26 support impeller shaft 24 rotatively in bearing housing 23 , which in turn is supported by diffusor hub 16 , fastened by bolts Power leads 9 connect to a motor controller not shown inside vessel 1.

    Development of an actuation system based on water jet propulsion for a slim long-reach robot

    A pressure compensator 28 maintains the oil pressure in housing 23 slightly above the ambient water pressure to prevent ingress of water into the oil. The oil performs the double duty of lubricating and cooling. A bearing cavity 36 , planetary speed reducing transmission 7 , and motor cavities 32 are filled with oil. An oil pump 29 pumps oil from motor cavities 32 through an oil cooler 30 , hollow motor shaft 19 , and hollow impeller shaft A set of swivel glands 30 prevent oil from short-circuiting the oil flow between an oil feed tube 31 and hollow shafts 19 and The cooled oil is delivered to impeller bearings 26 , and then flows through cavity 36 and planetary transmission 7 to motor bearings 15 and motor cavities 32 , and from there back to pump