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Raised toward our $1,000 Goal
11 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 31, at 11:59 PM EST
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Optimizing Toroidal Propellers for Maritime Shipping


In 2020, maritime shipping carried more than $1.5 trillion worth of U.S. trade, more than any other mode of transportation. This shipping, however, comes with a cost. The maritime shipping industry contributes about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is predicted to keep increasing. One way to prevent this increase in emissions would be to optimize the propulsion of the freighters to allow them to travel further with less fuel. Toroidal propellers are a new type of propeller with a unique shape. Instead of having sharp blades, the blades curve back in on themselves which can increase efficiency. The technology has shown promise in drones and speedboats. TORUS intends to research the use of toroidal propellers on shipping freighters. 

Project Description: 

Team TORUS is an undergraduate research team that is part of the University of Maryland’s GEMSTONE research program. The goal of our research is to mathematically define and optimize a propeller for use on shipping freighters. Since toroidal propellers are fairly new, there are not many available models for them, and the ones that do exist are for speedboats or drones, so our first step will be creating a parameterized model aimed at shipping freighters. This model will aim to allow the geometry of the toroidal propeller to be edited based on parameters similar to that of a current propeller. Once this model is created, we will use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to find the optimal shape to create the greatest amount of thrust for a shipping freighter.

Donated Funds will go to manufacturing 3D-printed plastic prototypes, manufacturing a metal prototype, and computing time and storage on UMD’s supercomputer to run CFD simulations. 

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.

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Funds will be used to run Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations on UMD's supercomputer cluster.


3D Printed Prototype

A donation at this level will fund optimization but will also come with a 3D-printed prototype of our propeller!


Cover Compute Costs

A donation at this level would cover most of our computing costs for this project! A donation at this level comes with a 3d-printed prototype and a torus-themed propeller cap!


Metal Prototype

A donation at this level would cover our compute costs and come with a 3D-printed propeller, a torus-themed propeller hat, and a metal prototype of our propeller!

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