Bruntons Autoprop Eco*Star propeller
With two of the worlds most advanced electrically and wind powered craft having travelled many thousands of miles propelled by Bruntons Autoprop Eco*Star propeller, and a rapidly growing number of other electric and hybrid powered craft now fitting them, here is an update.
With more and more leisure and commercial vessels being launched powered by electric or hybrid systems it is perhaps not surprising that many ship and yacht builders and naval architects are looking at Bruntons Autoprop Eco*Star as their first choice propeller. In addition, apart from new builds an increasing number of vessel owners are converting their craft from diesel to electric power.
But why the Eco*Star in particular? That time honoured saying, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” provides the answer. When the Eco*Star was first launched several years ago a small number of vessel owners decided to take the risk of fitting this unique and untried design of propeller to their craft. The results they are achieving, and their reactions to them, are proof enough that the Eco*Star really is the propeller which provides the best all round performance for electrically powered craft. Two prime examples are the highly advanced research vessel the ‘Energy Observer’ and an increasing number of craft in the Saildrone fleet of autonomous ocean research vessels.
The Energy Observer (pictured above) uses a hydrogen fuel cell. It converts the hydrogen into electricity by reversing the electrolysis process. Their around the world mission is to highlight the importance of renewable energy. The vessel was also fitted with ‘wings’ to enable her to add wind power to her already impressive list of available natural energy supplies. With the ‘wings’ the decision was taken to fit two Eco*Star propellers to allow the vessel to make the most effective use of the wings when sailing and motor sailing. To date the Eco*Stars on the Energy Observer have each provided over 10,000 hours of service.
It is for similar reasons that the owners of the Saildrone fleet have decided on Eco*Stars. The first of their fleet to get one was the largest; the Saildrone Surveyor is 20 meters long. Such was the success of the Eco*Stars performance on this vessel that the company have now ordered five more propellers to be fitted to their rapidly increasing fleet. As with the Energy Observer the excellent performance of the propellers in all three main functions, sailing, motoring, and producing hydro power has shown it to be the right propeller for primarily electrically or wind powered craft.
Apart from the two highly advanced examples of craft above that have fitted Autoprop Eco*Stars there are many, more ‘normal’ vessels, that are doing the same.