Self-propulsion computations using a speed controller and a discretized propeller with dynamic overset grids

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A method that can be used to perform self-propulsion computations of surface ships is presented. The propeller is gridded as an overset object with a rotational velocity that is imposed by a speed controller, which finds the self-propulsion point when the ship reaches the target Froude number in a single transient computation. Dynamic overset grids are used to allow different dynamic groups to move independently, including the hull and appendages, the propeller, and the background (where the far-field boundary conditions are imposed). Predicted integral quantities include propeller rotational speed, propeller forces, and ship’s attitude, along with the complete flow field. The fluid flow is solved by employing a single-phase level set approach to model the free surface, along with a blended kω/kɛ based DES model for turbulence. Three ship hulls are evaluated: the single-propeller KVLCC1 tanker appended with a rudder, the twin propeller fully appended surface combatant model DTMB 5613, and the KCS container ship without a rudder, and the results are compared with experimental data obtained at the model scale. In the case of KCS, a more complete comparison with propulsion data is performed. It is shown that direct computation of self-propelled ships is feasible, and though very resource intensive, it provides a tool for obtaining vast flow detail.

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This work is sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research through research grants N00014-01-1-0073 and N00014-06-1-0474. Dr. Patrick Purtell is the technical manager. Computations were performed at the DoD’s AFRL HPC Center, and at NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Center.

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Correspondence to Pablo M. Carrica.

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Supplementary material 1 (MPG 1866 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 9338 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (MPG 5926 kb)

Supplementary material 4 (AVI 2390 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (AVI 2733 kb)

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Carrica, P.M., Castro, A.M. & Stern, F. Self-propulsion computations using a speed controller and a discretized propeller with dynamic overset grids. J Mar Sci Technol 15, 316–330 (2010).

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  • Self-propulsion
  • CFD
  • Ship motions
  • Overset grids
  • Propellers
  • Free surface