Performance Prediction of Wind Propulsion Systems using 3D CFD and Route Simulation
Conference contribution, 2019

Accurate performance prediction is necessary when designing/optimising wind propulsion systems (WPS). An independent, trustworthy prediction of the energy-saving potential is also needed to support the ship owner’s decision to invest in new technology. By using weather statistics along with a mathematical model of ship performance, route simulations can estimate the time and power required for transit of a route. Such simulations are commonly used today to optimise the design and operation of conventional ships. The introduction of WPS poses additional challenges for route simulations. WPS performance must be predicted at all points along the route, with wind of differing velocity and direction. The apparent wind will vary vertically (twist), due to the interaction between the ship velocity and the atmospheric boundary layer. Also, many proposed concepts use multiple WPS, introducing additional complexity, such as independent spin ratios/ sheeting angles. 3D CFD simulations capture the complex physics, including vortex formation and interaction effects, providing accurate performance prediction and an understanding of the flow. However, 3D CFD is costly, and it would not be possible to simulate all conditions at a reasonable cost. We present simplified approaches to modelling of WPS, using a limited number of CFD simulations, either in 2D or 3D, which are then extrapolated such that 3D effects are represented, and all conditions covered. The methodology is demonstrated on rotor sails and wing sails.


Adam Persson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Da-Qing Li

SSPA Sweden AB

Fredrik Olsson

SSPA Sweden AB

Sofia Werner

SSPA Sweden AB

Ulysse Dhomé

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Wind Propulsion 2019
London, United Kingdom,


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics

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