CFD simulations can help compliment scaled experimental tests of marine vessels/structures, thus providing better insights during the design process.
Ship designing has benefited heavily due to the use of CFD, for instance for ship hull design or designing propellers for avoiding cavitation. With advanced data processing techniques it is even possible to automatically optimise the shape with respect to parameters such as drag. Additionally, seakeeping analysis to predict dynamic motions of vessels or structures and their effect on passengers, loads, etc. can be made. Details of the flow around (bow) thrusters or the inflow towards the propeller are investigated. Ship hull design for a sea-state is an upcoming area as the demand for more efficient ships with less drag and lower fuel consumption increases and the computer power and CFD techniques progress. A CFD model can be considered as a digital towing tank.
Offshore structures either for oil and gas extraction or for renewable energy harvest require detailed understanding of the interaction of waves, wind and current with these structures. Due to the complexity of such designs experimental measurements are often limited and hence CFD provides an attractive alternative to obtain vital parameters needed for engineering. We can provide full fluid structure interaction (FSI) simulations accounting for all relevant forces acting on a structure and its response.
Moored vessels are anchored using mooring lines which are designed to withhold a certain amount of load. While designing a mooring setup, parameters such as current, waves and wind loads are of importance in obtaining the total force on the vessel. Conventionally, experimentally measured drag coefficients on scaled vessels in a wind tunnel are used to obtained wind loads on vessels. However, that does not take into account specific details of the moored vessel and its surroundings which can lead to both over and underprediction of wind loads. A CFD simulation accounts for these properties affecting (wind)loads.