Journal of Marine Science and Technology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 316–330 | Cite as

Self-propulsion computations using a speed controller and a discretized propeller with dynamic overset grids

  • Pablo M. CarricaEmail author
  • Alejandro M. Castro
  • Frederick Stern
Original Article


A method that can be used to perform self-propulsion computations of surface ships is presented. The propeller is gridded as an overset object with a rotational velocity that is imposed by a speed controller, which finds the self-propulsion point when the ship reaches the target Froude number in a single transient computation. Dynamic overset grids are used to allow different dynamic groups to move independently, including the hull and appendages, the propeller, and the background (where the far-field boundary conditions are imposed). Predicted integral quantities include propeller rotational speed, propeller forces, and ship’s attitude, along with the complete flow field. The fluid flow is solved by employing a single-phase level set approach to model the free surface, along with a blended kω/kɛ based DES model for turbulence. Three ship hulls are evaluated: the single-propeller KVLCC1 tanker appended with a rudder, the twin propeller fully appended surface combatant model DTMB 5613, and the KCS container ship without a rudder, and the results are compared with experimental data obtained at the model scale. In the case of KCS, a more complete comparison with propulsion data is performed. It is shown that direct computation of self-propelled ships is feasible, and though very resource intensive, it provides a tool for obtaining vast flow detail.


Self-propulsion CFD Ship motions Overset grids Propellers Free surface 



This work is sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research through research grants N00014-01-1-0073 and N00014-06-1-0474. Dr. Patrick Purtell is the technical manager. Computations were performed at the DoD’s AFRL HPC Center, and at NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Center.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 1866 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 9338 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (MPG 5926 kb)

Supplementary material 4 (AVI 2390 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (AVI 2733 kb)


  1. 1.
    ITTC (2002) Testing and extrapolation methods, performance propulsion test (Recommended Procedures and Guidelines; report 7.5-02-03-01.1). ITTC Secretary, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Choi JE, Kim JH, Lee HG, Choi BJ, Lee DH (2010) Computational predictions of ship-speed performance. J Mar Sci Technol (in press)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tahara Y, Wilson RV, Carrica PM (2006) RANS simulation of a container ship using a single-phase level set method with overset grids and prognosis for extension to self-propulsion simulator. J Mar Sci Technol 11:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hino T (2006) CFD-based estimation of propulsive performance in ship design. In: Proceedings of 26th symposium on naval hydrodynamics, Rome, Italy, 17–22 Sept 2006Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kim J, Kim KS, Kim GD, Park IR, Van SH (2006) Hybrid RANS and potential based numerical simulation for self-propulsion performances of the practical container ship. J Ship Ocean Tech 10(4):1–11Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kim KS, Kim J, Park IR, Kim GD, Van SH (2007) RANS analysis for hull-propeller-rudder interaction of a commercial ship using an overset grid scheme. In: Proceedings of 9th international conference on numerical ship hydrodynamics, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 5–8 Aug 2007Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cura Hochbaum A, Vogt M (2008) Maneuvering prediction for two tankers based on RANS calculations. In: SIMMAN 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14–16 April 2008Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lübke LO (2005) Numerical simulation of the flow around the propelled KCS. In: CFDWS05, Tokyo, Japan, 9–11 March 2005 Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huang S, Zhu X, Guo C, Chang X (2007) CFD simulation of propeller and rudder performance when using additional thrust fins. J Marine Sci Appl 6:27–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pankajakshan R, Remotigue S, Taylor L, Jiang M, Briley W, Whitfield D (2002) Validation of control-surface induced submarine maneuvering simulations using UNCLE. In: Proceedings of 24th symposium on naval hydrodynamics, Fukuoka, Japan, 8–13 July 2002Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carrica PM, Stern F (2008) DES simulations of KVLCC1 in turn and zigzag maneuvers with moving propeller and rudder. In: SIMMAN 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14–16 April 2008Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carrica PM, Wilson R, Stern F (2007) An unsteady single-phase level set method for viscous free surface flows. Int J Num Meth Fluids 53:229–256zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carrica PM, Wilson RV, Noack R, Stern F (2007) Ship motions using single-phase level set with dynamic overset grids. Comput Fluids 36:1415–1433zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Noack R (2005) SUGGAR: a general capability for moving body overset grid assembly (AIAA paper 2005-5117). In: 17th AIAA Comput Fluid Dynamics Conf, Toronto, Canada, 6–9 June 2005Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Boger DA, Dreyer JJ (2006) Prediction of hydrodynamic forces and moments for underwater vehicles using overset grids (AIAA paper 2006-1148). In: 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, USA, 9–12 Jan 2006Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Carrica PM, Huang J, Noack R, Kaushik D, Smith B, Stern S (2010) Large-scale DES computations of the forward speed diffraction and pitch and heave problems for a combatant. Comput Fluids 39(7):1095–1111Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stern F, Bhushan S, Carrica PM, Yang J (2009) Large scale parallel computing and scalability study for surface combatant static maneuver and straight ahead conditions using CFD-Iowa. In: Parallel CFD 2009 Conf, Moffett Field, CA, USA, 18–22 May 2009Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fossen TI (1994) Guidance and control of ocean vehicles. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kim WS, Van SH, Kim DH (2001) Measurements of flows around modern commercial ship models. Exp Fluids 31:567–578Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Simman 2008 Executive Organizing Committee (2008) Simman 2008 website.
  21. 21.
    Xing T, Carrica PM, Stern F (2008) Computational towing tank procedures for single run curves of resistance and propulsion. J Fluids Eng 130(101102):1–14Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Felli M, Guj G, Camussi R (2008) Effect of the number of blades on propeller wake evolution. Exp Fluids 44:409–418Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hino T (ed) (2005) CFD Workshop Tokyo 2005 website.
  24. 24.
    Gothenburg 2010 CFD Workshop organizers (2010) Gothenburg 2010 CFD Workshop website.

Copyright information

© JASNAOE 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo M. Carrica
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alejandro M. Castro
    • 1
  • Frederick Stern
    • 1
  1. 1.IIHR-Hydroscience and EngineeringThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

Personalised recommendations