Hydrospike Propulsor, Distributed Propulsion System for Maritime Vessels

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The HydroSpike Propulsor is a distributed propulsion system using a centralized pump, and thruster modules sited at key points on a boat or ships hull. The basic operating principle is Fluid Flow Amplification of water through a modified Aerospike nozzle, either linear or annular, to provide propulsive force to a maritime vessel. With no moving parts in the water, propeller strike injury is virtually eliminated, thus improving marine safety for other water users and marine animals.

The Hydrospike lends itself well to electric power systems, such as solar, battery & even Hydrogen fuel cells. The key advantages of the Hydrospike propulsor over existing maritime propulsion systems is zero cavitation, no rotational force exerted by a rotating propeller/impeller, and efficiency, it water acting upon water, losses are extremely low.

Fluid Flow Amplification, works by injecting a small volume of water under pressure, into a larger channel of water to induce a flow. This is achieved by friction, the small volume dragging the larger volume of water. As the larger volume flows, the smaller volume continues to drag more and more water, until the aperture of the hydrospike propulsor can no longer support anymore water flowing through. A trailing flow, reduces drag of the entire system.

Construction of the Hydrospike Propulsor, utilises the same construction techniques for the hull of the vessel, be that wood, composite or steel/aluminium, even ferro cement can be used. No specialised manufacturing facilities are required, any boat or shipyard can construct a Hydrospike Propulsor. So, as a result the implementation of this new technology is cheap and easy, all you need is a suitable pump capable of pumping water at the right pressure, and a decent boat builder.

The construction, can either be a purpose built propulsion unit such as an outboard motor, or as an external thruster pack. Or, it can be integrated into the ship's hull. Only limitation is the imagination of the builder.

Who benefits the most from this technology? The shipping industry, fairly easy to retrofit to existing commercial ships. Lowers running costs, reduces cost involved with shipping goods across the globe. As an indirect result, all of humanity benefits with cheaper commercial shipping.

The economic benefits are endless.


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  • Name:
    Christopher Barrett
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  • Christopher's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Dassault Systeme Catia V5 is the CAD package of choice, however these days I'm using Siemens Solidedge.
    As per analysis tools, anything opensource is good.
  • Christopher is inspired by:
    Nature always has the answer to ever engineering problem humans encounter.
    Finding natures solutions is my drive...
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