Nowadays everyone with a computer can perform Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations on their own computer for free thanks to OpenFOAM. This makes the design process a lot faster and cheaper. We in cDynamics have recently pushed this to a new level by competing in a rather complex and difficult competition at the Grabcad community.



The challenge is held by Stena-teknik, and  is open for everyone to participate in. Stena-teknik’s  goal is to reduce the emissions by designing a hull with minimum resistance through the water. This is a big challenge and there will by many skilled people claiming their design is the best. Our approach to design the best hull form is mostly focused on the resistance calculation at a given design speed and draft with OpenFOAM at a laptop with a Intel® Core™ i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60GHz × 4  processors, using a scaled model of the hull.  The Full scale simulation was performed on  HPC-cloud platform LincoSim hosted by the Italian institute CINECA.

The design approach started with a well known hydrodynamic bottle-nose dolphin geometry and some of its nose geometry was adapted to the bow of the ship.  The optimization parameters consist of three vertices’ at the transom, and three at the bow so we could easily control the shape with a quadratic equation.

After performing nine simulation of all the scaled design combinations, the CFD results showed a winner. From first design to the last, total drag force was reduced by 9.5 %.

The final validation of the full scale ship is time consuming and demands computational power. To overcome this we performed the simulation on a web based HPC-cloud platform for automatic virtual towing tank analysis called LincoSim.

LincoSim deliver an easy and fast setup fine tuned for this kind of analysis, and the computational power makes sure you get your results on time.  The results from the full scale CFD analysis show that the final design will generate around 857kN of drag force.