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research-article

Computational Fluid Dynamics Study of the Dead Water Problem

[+] Author and Article Information
Mehdi Esmaeilpour

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
mehdi-esmaeilpour@uiowa.edu

J. Ezequiel Martin

Assistant Research Engineer, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
juan-martin@uiowa.edu

Dr. Pablo Carrica

Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
pablo-carrica@uiowa.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037693 History: Received February 27, 2017; Revised August 15, 2017

Abstract

The dead water problem, in which under certain conditions a vessel advancing in a stratified fluid experiences a considerable increase in resistance respect to the equivalent case without stratification, was studied using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The advance of a vessel in presence of a density interface (pycnocline) results in the generation of an internal wave that in the most adverse conditions can increase the total resistance coefficient by almost an order of magnitude. This paper analyses the effects of stratification on total and friction resistance, the near field wake, internal and free surface waves, and resistance dynamics. Some of these effects are reported for the first time, as limitations of previous efforts using potential flow are overcome by the use of a viscous, free surface CFD solver. A range of densimetric Froude numbers from subcritical to supercritical are evaluated changing both the ship speed and pycnocline depth, using as platform the Research Vessel Athena. It was found that the presence of the internal wave causes a favorable pressure gradient, acceleration of the flow in the downstream of the hull, resulting in thinning of the boundary layer and increases of the friction resistance coefficient of up to 30%. The total resistance presents an unstable region that results in a hysteretic behavior, though the characteristic time to establish the speed-resistance curve, dominated by the formation of the internal waves, is very long and unlikely to cause problems in modern ship speed controllers.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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