, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 125-138,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 29 Dec 2011

On the numerical accuracy of the wave load distribution on a ship advancing in short and steep waves


Defining numerical uncertainty is an important part of the practical application of a numerical method. In the case of a ship advancing in short and steep waves, little knowledge exists on the solution behaviour as a function of discretisation resolution. This paper studies an interface-capturing (VOF) solution for a passenger ship advancing in steep (kA = 0.24) and short waves (L w /L pp = 0.16). The focus is to estimate quantitative uncertainties for the longitudinal distributions of the first–third harmonic wave loads in the ship bow area. These estimates are derived from the results of three systematically refined discretisation resolutions. The obtained uncertainty distributions reveal that even the uncertainty of the first harmonic wave load varies significantly along the ship bow area. It is shown that the largest local uncertainties of the first harmonic wave load relate to the differences in the local details of the propagating and deforming encountered waves along the hull. This paper also discusses the challenges that were encountered in the quantification of the uncertainties for this complex flow case.