1. Overview of the development of the global marine special propulsion industry
The main function of the marine propulsion is to use the ship’s engine to convert the energy generated by the fuel into power to ensure the normal operation of the ship. Under normal circumstances, the main equipment of marine propeller is mainly composed of two parts: ① ordinary propeller; ② special propeller. At present, the proportion of special propellers used by some large shipping companies has increased accordingly. Only between 2007 and 2017, the international shipping market’s demand for special propellers remained between 2,000 and 3500 units, and the revenue could reach 11 billion U.S. dollars.
2. The development history of special propellers
Propeller propellers appeared after the first industrial revolution. So far, many ships in the world have adopted propellers as their main power propulsion equipment. However, with the continuous development of environmental protection technology and technological level, the propeller is no longer suitable for current ship shipping. The shipping company optimized and modified the traditional propeller propulsion technology through scientific research and development and the introduction of brand-new power technology. Common special propulsion technology can be divided into the following four types: ① water jet propulsion; ② special propulsion based on traditional propeller operation; ③ magnetic fluid propulsion; ④ bionic propulsion. In terms of the types and characteristics of propellers, ship propellers are developing towards technology, intelligence and bionics. On the one hand, special propeller equipment can increase shipping speed, and on the other hand, it can effectively save shipping costs.