Fluid-structure interaction of wind-assisted propulsion
Title: Fluid-structure interaction of wind-assisted propulsion
DNr: NAISS 2023/5-195
Project Type: NAISS Medium Compute
Principal Investigator: Xin Zhao <zxin@chalmers.se>
Affiliation: Chalmers tekniska högskola
Duration: 2023-04-26 – 2024-05-01
Classification: 20705 20306 20301
Homepage: https://www.windstruc.com/


The aim of the the WindStruc project is to develop a concept for wind assisted propulsion for large commercial maritime vessels. The concepts will be verified by theoretical models regarding propulsion, structural stresses, and expected total energy saving for a ship on a given route. In a addition to the development of a complete design for sail- and rigging arrangements, the theoretical calculation models, developed within the project, will be complied to a complete method for dimension, prediction and validation of different sail concepts. The design work will include: - Sail arrangement, using crescent shaped airfoils that can be telescopically extended and retracted, in order to enable adaptation of the sail area. - Rigging with hydraulic, alternatively electrical, maneuvering of: Adaptation of sail area (telescopically); Adjustment of sheet angle; Felling and raising of the rigging. The developed theoretical model will be implemented in the simulation model ShipCLEAN, developed in a previous project, financed by the Swedish Energy Agency (ShipCLEAN, project No. P44454-1). For more information, see Tillig (2020). With the help of ShipCLEAN, scenario based simulations for different types of ships and routes will be carried out. When implemented in ShipCLEAN, the theoretical model, that is to be developed, will contain function for: - Prediction of properties for the telescopic rigging in full-scale and analysis on a model scale. The theoretical analysis will be based on FSI modelling. - Prediction of of wind conditions and angles that are optimal, economically, and make reefing of the sail structure necessary. - Performance comparisons between different sail concepts. For a typical tanker (50.000 dwt), a yearly fuel consumption reduction of 20% is expected, based on the analysis from the EffShip project. A more in-depth analysis for the potential fuel consumption reduction will be performed with the ShipCLEAN-model. The model is also able to calculate how route optimization and adaptation of the logistical system would contribute to energy savings. For a 50.000 dwt tanker, an increased energy efficiency of 1% saves around 175 tonnes of fuel per year, giving yearly reductions of 560 tonnes CO2 emissions. Therefore, even small increases in energy efficiency have huge potentials to reduce GHG-emissions from maritime transportation.