Optimisation of a Ship Wind Assisted Propulsion System

Optimisation of a Ship Wind Assisted Propulsion System

This project investigates the optimisation of a ship wind-assisted propulsion system (SWAP), an actively controlled aerofoil mounted vertically on the deck of a ship in order to generate a forward propulsive force from the wind. The device functions in a similar manner to a sail on a yacht, whereby the aerodynamic forces generated by the sail reach an equilibrium with the hydrodynamic forces of the hull and a resulting forward velocity develops.

The current version of the proposed circulation control system employs blowing and suction from the leading-edge and trailing-edge of the aerofoil respectively, utilising the Coanda effect to energise the boundary layer, with the aim of generating high lift and low drag.

The intended system contains a multitude of parameters to be optimised with the use of high fidelity CFD data. Some examples of ARCHIE usage are:

  • preliminary two-dimensional simulations aimed at understanding the effects of an energised boundary layer on the lift and drag characteristics of very thick aerofoil shapes
  • internal flow simulations allowing for design of a recirculation system which provides a uniform flow profile injected at the aerofoil leading edge
  • identification of the number and placement of SWAP devices which provides an optimal trade-off between increased propulsion and added mass
  • assessment of the 3D interaction between SWAP devices and the ship superstructure and hull

    Experimental validation will be provided by the University of Glasgow National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF).

    For more information about the project contact Dr Marco Vezza (marco.vezza@strath.ac.uk), Senior Lecturer at James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow.


    For a list of the research areas in which ARCHIE-WeSt users are active please click here.