This paper presents results from the application of the genetic algorithm (GA) technique to the design optimization of hydrofoil and marine propeller incorporating the potential-based boundary element method (BEM). Although larger population size as implemented by simple genetic algorithm (SGA) could find the optimal individual after a fewer number of generations than smaller population size, it is penalized by a longer amount of time to evaluate fitness in every generation. An investigation is, therefore, conducted in this research to implement micro genetic algorithm (μGA) with a very small population, and with simple genetic parameters, in order to achieve faster convergence to better solutions from generation to generation. The technique is applied here to optimize hydrofoils of different plan forms, e.g., rectangular, elliptical, trapezoidal etc. Firstly, the hydrofoil design parameters, such as angle of incidence, maximum thickness, and camber ratios, aspect ratio, taper ratio, angle of sweep, etc. are initialized randomly and the generated hydrofoil is analyzed by potential based boundary element method. GA then updates the design parameters over generation after generation and finally, finds an improved hydrofoil of maximum lift-drag ratio or minimum drag coefficient satisfying some design constraints. An improved blade or hydrofoil section is also designed by GA satisfying some design constraints. Finally, the technique is applied to the optimum design of marine propeller. In this study, μGA is found a useful and prospective tool for the design optimization of hydrofoil due to its faster convergence.

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