Scottish Researchers See 15% Fuel Savings From New Rudder Design

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday May 5, 2021

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have developed a new rudder design that they claim can deliver fuel savings of 15% in calm waters. 

The university's GATERS project has developed a new propulsion and steering system which it calls the gate rudder.

Early trials of the system have shown 15% fuel savings in calm waters, and the researchers expect to see savings of as much as 30% in rough seas, as well as improved manoeuvrability.

"Unlike a traditional rudder which sits behind a ship's propellers to steer the vessel, the U-shaped gate rudder – essentially two separate rudders – sits astride the propeller which, as a result, acts like a nozzle around the propeller and generates additional thrust," the university said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

"Both rudders can be independently controlled to provide steering better as well as helping vessels move sideways – called crabbing – when docking, for example."

The researchers are now determining whether the system is ready to be retrofitted to a 90m coastal cargo ship for a more extensive trial.