Our senior Seyed is currently working on creating a “sports mode” and “eco mode” for the boat’s battery and propulsion system. This is his Senior Capstone Synopsis:
Variable propeller pitches on EV outboards can be optimized to get the maximum thrust possible over a full discharge cycle of the battery pack in real-time. Propeller pitches essentially define how much a prop bites the water for a given Torque and RPM - every motor for those two given factors has an optimal pitch it gives the best thrust, efficiently. For gas outboards, they can maintain output a peak power over any range of gas tank levels - in this case, they are okay using fixed propeller pitches that are optimized for max efficiency at a certain speed (say 30 knots). However, EV systems are much more different because as their battery pack is depleted, they lose voltage and thus overall power (assuming at the max throttle) which results in a drop in torque and RPM which makes the propeller run inefficiently. This research aims to model variable pitch propeller designs and their thrust efficiencies at different pitches, helping us optimize our outboard for maximum range and maximum speed.