Designing and optimizing a propulsion system is twofold. The first step is to choose the main components, such as engine ratings, engine types, propeller type and propeller diameter. The second step is taken when all the main parameters as set and the propeller design itself needs to be designed to fit the operational profile, the hull and the machinery. This paper shows how Caterpillar works with system optimizations as well as optimization of the propeller design. Different vessel types are used to demonstrate the strengths of the procedures and the advantages that can be found using a system and optimization approach to vessel machinery design.

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