Ship hull optimization
Hull optimization is the process of designing the shape of the hull in order to maximize efficiency and performance. This can include factors such as reducing drag, increasing speed, improving fuel economy, and enhancing stability.
The world is in transition towards new sources of energy that have less environmental impact and are more sustainable than the current sources. However, the most efficient way to achieve this sustainability is to require less energy rather than finding ways to provide alternative sources. For most vessel designs the highest energy requirement comes from the propulsion system. The ultimate goal should therefore always be to create hull forms that allow for the functionality of the vessel and yet have a lower resistance.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Nowadays this hull optimization can very well be predicted using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). With this numerical calculation, method running expensive model sets in a model basin are no longer required. The complexity of running these calculations requires the right level of expertise. The results of these calculations will only be valid if a good simulation model is used, properly checked against the numerical criteria and the results are well judged. Validating the CFD results and calibrating the outcome with actual vessel measurements will eventually lead to the most optimal and realistic hull design.
Hull optimization is an iterative process. It starts with defining the hard points of the vessel which are determined by, for example:
- Cargo hold volume
- Propulsion train equipment
- Double hull strength for crane integrations
Optimized hull form
A proper evaluation of the flow will allow the designer to optimize the hull form. Parametric changes in the hull form can easily modify the hull to take away the areas with high pressure coefficients. The CFD results can also provide the data for the wake field that can be used for the propeller design. In the early design phase, it is important to have a good understanding of the required propulsion train and at later stages the final design of the propeller can be optimized, using the CFD results.
Vuyk Engineering hull optimization
Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam has the right level of expertise to handle complex CFD calculations. We have tools to quickly vary with the hull shape and evaluate the impact on the hull resistance. The propeller design plays an important role in the final power demand and is taken into account from an early stage. Due to the large variety of vessels that we have designed in the past, we can very well relate the results to vessels that have been built. In this way the best hull forms with the lowest fuel consumption and environmental footprint can be developed.