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Comparison Of Full-Scale PIV Measurements With CFD Simulations Of A Ship Propeller Inflow

Miloš Birvalski (1), Serge L Toxopeus (1), Gijs D Struijk (1), Dmitriy Ponkratov (2)

1. MARIN, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2. JoRes Project, London, United Kingdom


Flow around the ship's hull and specifically the inflow conditions of the propeller(s) critically influence the propeller efficiency and cavitation behaviour. In a typical single-propeller vessel, the hull of the ship creates a velocity deficit in the top part of the propeller disk. This creates suitable conditions for cavitation, which is the main source of noise and vibration both inside the vessel as well as in the marine environment. Recently, two measurement campaigns were performed using a novel full-scale stereo-PIV device built to measure flows around vessels sailing at sea. During the first campaign, performed in one of MARIN's basins, the device was commissioned. The second campaign was performed during a sea trial; it resulted in propeller inflow data that can be used for validating CFD codes. The uncertainty of the PIV measurements was assessed using both campaigns. In the basin, uncertainty bias could be determined by comparing the PIV results with the carriage speed. At sea, the random part of uncertainty was determined by quantifying the standard deviation of the mean velocity for all three velocity components in the wake peak area of the propeller inflow. Overall, the uncertainty was found to be acceptably small, given the scale of the measurement and the necessity to work with naturally occurring seeding particles in the sea. CFD calculations of the same full-scale flow were performed using an in-house flow solver. The CFD results predicted the propeller RPM and the delivered power measured during the full-scale trial well, which gives confidence in the ability of CFD to predict ship trial performance. The comparison of the flow fields was good, with the PIV results demonstrating that full-scale PIV can be done reliably, and that the CFD is able to capture the major features of the flow in the considered area. For a large part of the flow field, the CFD was within the measurement uncertainty band. The wake peak was slightly underpredicted, which may be related to roughness effects on the boundary layer thickness.

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