An Arctic ship performance model for sea routes in ice-infested waters
Journal article, 2021

Global warming is creating significant change in the Arctic environment, with widespread reduction in ice extent, thickness and compactness. This has opened numerous shipping routes through the Arctic and provides the opportunity to reduce the distance, time and emissions of voyages. However, for a ship to operate in such polar routes, ice conditions need to be properly accounted for to accurately estimate fuel consumption. To meet this key challenge, this paper presents a ship performance model designed to incorporate a set of ice resistance algorithms alongside the calculation of open-water ship resistance and fuel consumption. In particular, a novel method is proposed to calculate ship resistance in ice-floe fields, other than the traditional level-ice condition. Subsequently, the model has been used to simulate a voyage in the Northern Sea Route and the fuel consumption prediction agrees well with corresponding full-scale measurement data. Overall, the work provides a practical tool for the emerging Arctic shipping industry to carry out fuel analysis and voyage planning.

ice floe

ship performance model

ice resistance


fuel consumption


Christopher Ryan

University College London (UCL)

Luofeng Huang

University College London (UCL)

Zhiyuan Li

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Giles Thomas

University College London (UCL)

Applied Ocean Research

0141-1187 (ISSN)

Vol. 117 102950

SEDNA - Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions: the Arctic case

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/723526), 2017-06-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Materials Science

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Energy Engineering

Other Materials Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Energy Systems

Marine Engineering


Basic sciences


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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Latest update

3/2/2022 1