Determining side-by-side current loads using CFD and Model Tests

AuthorsKoop, A.H.
Conference/Journal35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE), Busan, South Korea
DateJun 19, 2016
When two vessels are positioned close to each other in a current, significant shielding or interaction effects can be observed. In this paper the current loads are determined for a LNG carrier alone, a Shuttle tanker alone and both vessels in side-by-side configuration. The current loads are determined by means of tow tests in a water basin at scale 1:60 and by CFD calculations at model-scale and full-scale Reynolds number. The objective of the measurements was to obtain reference data including shielding effects. CFD calculations at model-scale Reynolds number are carried out and compared with the model test results to determine the capability of CFD to predict the side-by-side current load coefficients. Furthermore, CFD calculations at full-scale Reynolds number are performed to determine the scale effects on current loads. We estimate that the experimental uncertainty ranges between 3% and 5% for the force coefficients CY and CMZ and between 3% and 10% for CX. Based on a grid sensitivity study the numerical sensitivity is estimated to be below 5%. Considering the uncertainties mentioned above, we assume that a good agreement between experiments and CFD calculations is obtained when the difference is within 10%. The best agreement between the model test results and the CFD results for model-scale Reynolds number is obtained for the CY coefficient with differences around 5%. For the CX coefficient the difference can be larger as this coefficient is mainly dominated by the friction component. In the model tests this force is small and therefore difficult to measure. In the CFD calculations the turbulence model used may not be suitable to capture transition from laminar to turbulent flow. A good agreement (around 5% difference) is obtained for the moment coefficient for headings without shielding effects. With shielding effects larger differences can be obtained as for these headings a slight deviation in the wake behind the upstream vessel may result in a large difference for the moment coefficient. Comparing the CFD results at full-scale Reynolds number with the CFD results at model-scale Reynolds number significant differences are found for friction dominated forces. For the CX coefficient a reduction up to 50% can be observed at full-scale Reynolds number. The differences for pressure dominated forces are smaller. For the CY coefficient 5–10% lower values are obtained at full-scale Reynolds number. The moment coefficient CMZ is also dominated by the pressure force, but up to 30% lower values are found at full-scale Reynolds number. The shielding effects appear to be slightly smaller at full-scale Reynolds number as the wake from the upstream vessel is slightly smaller in size resulting in larger forces on the downstream vessel.
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