Vancouver backs noise-reducing propeller cap

Whale wearing ear defenders EnergoProFin reduces underwater noise, which whales are affected by. Credit: OceanCare/ Wärtsilä

A Wärtsilä-made propeller cap that delivers average fuel savings of 2% has been listed in the discount-providing vessel quieting category of the 2019 Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s EcoAction Program for its ability to reduce underwater noise and improve efficiency.

EnergoProFin incorporates fins that rotate together with the propeller. This reduces the cavitation caused by the hub vortex of the propeller. It also reduces the energy losses caused by the flow phenomena around and behind the propeller boss, thereby increasing overall propulsion efficiency while lowering fuel consumption, emissions and noise, thus reducing the impact on whales.

“The Wärtsilä EnergoProFin is designed to deliver both energy efficiency and environmental sustainability for ship owners. Our listing in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s EcoAction Program is an honour that supports Wärtsilä’s commitment to cleaner, safer, quieter, and more efficient shipping,” said Anton Voermans, manager hydrodynamics at Wärtsilä Marine.

Best practice rewards

The EcoAction Program provides harbour dues discounts for vessels calling on the Port of Vancouver that meet environmental best practices that reduce emissions, underwater noise and other environmental impacts.

The vessel quieting category awards a 23% discount in harbour dues for vessels utilising this technology. The incentive is given because the reduced cavitation offered by vessel quieting technologies reduces underwater noise. The aim is to encourage shipping companies to lessen their noise levels, since underwater noise affects the at-risk whale population in the Vancouver area of Canada.

EnergoProFin has a payback time of less than one year and to date has been installed on more than 350 vessels, said Wärtsilä.

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