Simulation of Vessels with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP)
(Press Release from Voith)
The demands on the maneuverability of vessels are constantly rising. On the one hand, larger and larger amounts of goods are moved within shorter and shorter times on the world’s oceans. On the other hand, crew numbers aboard all types of vessels are continuously reduced. As a result, the workload for the crew increases, and so does the safety risk.
Thanks to the excellent maneuverability of the VSP, vessels driven by Voith Schneider Propellers are an attractive solution for safe ship handling. Voith Water Tractors (VWT), VSP driven double-ended ferries and offshore support vessels represent the highest safety standards. Improved efficiency and the invention of the Voith Roll Stabilization are further vital characteristics of the VSP, allowing shipping companies to operate their fleets economically and comfortably.
To enable ship owners to assess the advantages and disadvantages of VSP propulsion at an early project phase and to ensure high-standard training of captains, Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion has installed a SimFlex navigation simulator at Voith in Heidenheim, Germany. This new facility is the result of close cooperation between Voith and the Danish company Force Technology. While Voith concentrates on the hydrodynamics of the VSP and the ship hull, Force acts as the specialist for simulation technology and the training of marine crews.
The Voith SimFlex Simulator can simultaneously handle two active vessels, for example an oil tanker and a Voith Water Tractor, in a virtual world. The two vessels can be connected by lines or fender forces. Voith is currently carrying out a series of comparative measurements between real size vessels and simulation models. The point of the exercise is maximum accuracy of the simulation models.
Voith takes a new approach when it comes to generating hydrodynamic data of the simulation model. So far the common way is the use of Planar Motion Measurements (PMM) to obtain such data. Voith has replaced the labor-intensive, relatively inflexible and expensive PMM model tests by efficient Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) calculations. For this purpose, the program COMET of CD ADAPCO is used. Key features of COMET are the accurate computation of the free water surface, the integration of the ship’s motions with a 6-degree of freedom (DOF) module and very short computation times for time-dependent calculations.
Numerous customers have already tested the SimFlex simulator at Voith and are impressed by the results thus obtained. It was, for example, possible to examine the best procedure for escorting tankers in narrow waters. Other results are the realization of fuel-optimized propulsion by the VSP. The Voith simulator is also used for testing combinator curves for new ship types, which require optimum variations of pitch and rpm.
Another important issue that can be solved with the help of the Voith Simulator, is the choice of the optimum VWT size. Customers often contact Voith and ask whether they should use a compact Voith Water Tractor (VWT) for their harbor, or rather a VWT with opimized escort characteristics and a greater vessel length. Now, these customers can go to Heidenheim, in order to simulate the situation under quasi-realistic conditions and experience first-hand what the most favorable fleet investment would be.
Voith will push the application of simulation technology further, in order to illustrate the potential of VSP propulsion to shipping companies. The cooperation with Force Technology in the field of simulation technology and with CD ADAPCO in terms of numerical flow simulation is the ideal basis for developing sophisticated simulation models.
Voith offers SimFlex to its customers at an early stage of the project phase and thus actively supports shipping companies in their search for optimum investments in suitable ship concepts.
Voith Turbo, the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith AG. Voith sets standards worldwide for papermaking technology, power transmission, energy technology, and industrial services. Voith was founded in 1867. With approximately 37 000 employees, annual sales of € 4 billion and over 270 locations worldwide, Voith is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. Voith is an official partner of the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”.
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