Lighthouse study leads to Vinnova project for 4.5 MSEK

Lighthouse pre study "For improved ship optimization performance methods" has led to a project at SSPA funded by the Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova ,worth SEK 4.5 million. The project aims to improve today's forecasting methods for a vessel's performance by developing new hybrid methods in which experimental methods (EFD) are combined with numerical methods (CFD).*

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The pre study, written by Sofia Werner, SSPA, in collaboration with Rickard Bensow, Chalmers, presents a research and development agenda regarding the methods used to forecast ship performance. Energy efficiency of vessels requires proper standard methods for performance evaluation in the design phase. Today's methods of extrapolating model test results have worked well for many years. Now, the required accuracy has been raised and with new innovative design, the scope has been expanded. The emergence of calculation methods, CFD, has provided new opportunities to improve methods.

"Apart from the fact that we are now able to drive the development on a larger scale, funding from Vinnova also acknowledges that these are important issues where Sweden can contribute internationally," says Sofia Werner, SSPA's researcher and project manager.

In the next step that Vinnova now finances, work will continue with a strategy for developing hybrid methods in which EFD and CFD are being combined. In addition, a technical committee with in ITTC, International Towing Tank Conference, has been formed with Sofia Werner as chairman. The purpose of the committee is to initiate and support the process of introducing combined EFD/CFD methods into ITTC’s procedures.

The long-term goal of the project is that new improved methods for forecasting vessel performance are adopted by ITTC as standards (Recommended Procedures) and can thus be used in legal requirements.

"We have already hired an industrial PhD student who will start in January. The first phase will be a broad mapping of needs where we will use the network within the Swedish shipping industry", says Sofia Werner.

* CFD stands for Computations Fluid Dynamics and EFD stands for Experimental Fluid Dynamics, i.e. model testing