Propulsion as the connotation suggests means to provide a thrust. The Naval propulsion market is hereby focused on equipment that is used to drive military vessels as well as support ships. Ships can maneuver themselves with ease across water bodies by using propulsion forces. Initially, there were just a few different types of ship propulsion systems, but today, a vessel can be equipped with a variety of cutting-edge technologies that are both sustainable as well as cost optimum.
Presently, successful ship movement in the water is only one aspect of ship propulsion. Ensuring a higher safety standard for the marine ecosystem and economic effectiveness also entails using the optimal form of propulsion. Some of the key types of propulsion technologies that are adopted across the global markets include Diesel, Nuclear, Gas Turbine, etc.
Major factors driving the growth of the market
One of the key factors which are poised to drive the growth associated with this market is the growth in investment across naval platforms across global economies. The primary driver for naval forces being a key area of strategic focus is the growing animosities between economies within the global market. The South China Sea dispute is one such border conflict that has been driving an increase in investment across naval platforms for the countries like China, Japan, Australia, etc. The region is noted to be of significant importance in terms of both trades as well as resources. Recent ongoing in the market suggest that roughly 90% of Australia’s fuel imports are presently threatened by this conflict.
China was also noted to be competing with the US in terms of naval acquisitions. As of 2020, China was known to overtake the US and become the largest Navy in the world with the highest number of commissioned ships.
Trends influencing the growth of the market
The market for Naval propulsion has been expanding as a result of technology innovation. Growth in the adoption of green practices and sustainability is poised to drive the research and development within this market. On performing a market scoping, it is noted that Diesel propulsion systems account for a major share within this sector. Due to its ease of operation, durability, and fuel efficiency as compared to most other prime mover systems, reciprocating diesel engines are the primary propulsion system used by the majority of modern ships. However, the growing adoption of green technology is poised to drive the growth in segments like Fuel Cell, Solar, and other alternative energy-based propulsion technologies.
The size of the engine is noted to be one of the most detrimental factors that helps identify the other components that can be fitted into a given naval vessel.
Modern propellers are noted to function with utmost effectiveness while being operated at slow speeds. These engines do not have a gearbox. Additionally, the propulsion systems integrated across such engines typically have one or two propeller shafts, each powered by a separate direct drive engine. More than one propeller may be present on ships powered by medium- or high-speed diesel engines. Typically, one or more engines are used to drive each propeller shaft through a gearbox.
Hydrogen is a fossil fuel alternative that has received significant investment, despite not being widely used in the maritime sector at the moment. The shipping corporation Maersk said in 2018 that it would commit to being carbon-free by 2050, a target they intend to partially attain by investing in hydrogen fuel technology. Despite being a promising fuel, hydrogen has a few drawbacks. Because hydrogen is much more combustible than other fuels like diesel, vigilance must be exercised. Similar to methane and LNG, it is also not particularly energy-dense, thus to make it feasible, its energy density must be greatly increased through compression. A fuel cell system or an internal combustion engine, similar to the diesel engines already utilized in the maritime industry, can be used to extract energy from hydrogen.