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Breakthrough ship propeller reduces fuel use in ships 80% by eliminating the pre-cavitational state and focuses all power to idealized ?ow



Horrigan Corporation has developed a breakthrough propulsion system that includes a proprietary blade and a simplified caudal-fin-cycle drive. Horrigan Labs has developed various prototypes up to the Mark 5 Mod 0 and demonstrated 4.5 times efficiency over a state-of-the-art rotating propeller.That was not a typo, 4.5 times efficiency. Our Mark 5 prototype performance compares to 7 popular outboards ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 hp turning at 2400-6000 rpm but our device draws less than 250 watts and turns at 70 cpm.

At a Technology Readiness Level of 7, we would like to move it to level 8.  We are ready to develop production prototypes for the 1-3.5 mw market. At the end of the next development phase we would have available a production prototype and construction specifications and materials sources for the 1 and 3 megawatt  units. Units will be azimuthing, repairable at sea, modular and suitable for a simple retrofit to existing vessels. 

The Modular Canister Unit will have the following features: Improved speed (assuming hull characteristics allow for this), improved range, reduced fuel costs, reduced ship construction costs, laminar discharge, non-fouling, can be designed to be silent in operation, have improved draft,improved pulling capacity, can provide multi-axis thrust, delivers precision ship control and will be simple, durable and reliable at sea.

What makes our technology so efficient is that we have discovered how to make the speed of water exactly the same over both pulling and pushing surfaces, eliminating the Bernoulli effect.  Doing this eliminates the precavitational state wherein prestressing forces propagate radially from a point on the prop's low pressure face, which causes a dramatic and unnecessary loading on the blade. With our system we have eliminated all of that nonproductive counter force causing all the energy delivered to the prop to go into single directional laminar flow resulting in more effective and efficient propulsive thrust. 

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

The basic business model is thus;

We will manufacture two basic models, a one and two-megawatt equivalent canister units for the commercial shipping industry eventually adding a 4-megawatt unit when we are securely operational.
We will derive income from; selling those units, installing those units and maintaining those units.

In addition, we will license and provide engineering support to partners for other markets we don’t intend to directly address such as;

Small craft (18-45’)



Undersea Projectiles



Landing Craft

Amphibious Personnel Carriers

Retractable Thrusters

Bolt-on Barge Power Units

Other Specialty Govt. Vessels

The technology also has pump and fan applications with similar performance characteristics of very high volume, laminar discharge, and low power use. As these markets are identi?ed and their needs de?ned, we will license to and o?er engineering support to companies that have access to these markets.


Who will take these actions?

Horrigan Corporation has a list of talented mathematicians, fluid dynamicists, CAD stress and flow analysists and other technicians to accomplish these tasks. We will partner with an appropriate university for testing and certification near the end of phase 1. Proposal author will oversee this project. 

Where will these actions be taken?

This depends on who our stretegic partners are. Phase 2 will be where their preference for ultimate production facilities should be. Phase one will be in the DC area. 

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

United States

Country 2


Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

The intended outcomes are as follows;

Dramatic reduction in atmospheric carbon and sulphur compounds which contribute to global warming. See this link scale of the issue. 

Dramatic reduction in bunker quality fuel use and facilitates alternative fuel use. One large ship uses 380 tons of fuel per day. Our technology could reduce that to 75 tons. There are 90,000 large ships operational at any given time.

Facilitate Jobs in middle income sector. Perhaps 5,000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs such as installation and retro?ts. When you consider auxiliary markets for the technology such as outboards and submarines and yachts, those numbers go way up. Rolls Royce Marine and Voith are competitors and serve as examples. 

Rejuvenate the consumer marine industry with inexpensive, quiet, nonpolluting sport vessels. Since smaller engines, transmissions, etc. are needed to deliver the same performance, the cost of ships is greatly reduced and since the technology can be retro?tted to older ships they can be more easily recycled. 

The lower cost of operations allows shipping of things like water where it was too expensive to do previously. 

And of course, since the technology delivers incredible ROI as it pays for itself in less than a year in fuel savings alone, the business structure is strong and pro?table.The fact that the technology is needed worldwide, it improves export exchange as well.

What are other key benefits?

See impacts and benefits


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

To the end of phase 1- $3mm US with certified performance characteristics and production prototype ready for manufacture. 2 years time commitment. 

Phase 2 - another $2.4mm US to set up manufacturing and production, marketing and delivery to first customers.

Need qualified university and strategic partners.  


To the end of phase 1- $3mm US with certified performance characteristics and production prototype ready for manufacture. 2 years time commitment. 

Phase 2 - another $2.4mm US to set up manufacturing and production, marketing and delivery to first customers. Impact starts here and accelerates exponentially as production ramps and market broadens. 

Need qualified university and strategic partners.

Targeting 80% of an $11bn/yr market expecting 10-12 years to that target. 

About the author(s)

David Horrigan, Canadian, living in California, is the inventor of this technology and contributing author. He is the President, Chairman of the Board and Founder of Horrigan Corporation (DBA Horrigan Labs) has over forty years experience in technology management including starting or assisting in the startup of numerous technology-related businesses. From his ongoing research efforts, he has in development numerous devices and/or formulations for common health conditions. As the inventor of dozens of technology innovations ranging from artificial intelligence architectures to fluid dynamics discoveries (pumps, fans, and propulsion systems) to cosmetic solutions, David has accrued significant expertise in the development and protection of Intellectual Property (IP), and provides consulting support in this area for several startup companies. As a technology expert, David has written an internationally syndicated newspaper column about business and technology read around the world for ten years and has had his advice published in Wired News as well as on the Apple Computers Small Business web site and has been quoted by dozens of software companies on their web sites.

Related Proposals


Patents filed in major ship producing countries. Prototype videos available on request.