Ship resistance analysis using CFD simulations in Flow-3D


  • S Deshpande
  • P Sundsbø
  • S Das



While designing the power requirements of a ship, the most important factor to be considered is the ship resistance, or the sea drag forces acting on the ship. It is important to have an estimate of the ship resistance while designing the propulsion system since the power required to overcome the sea drag forces contribute to ‘losses’ in the propulsion system. There are three main methods to calculate ship resistance: Statistical methods like the Holtrop-Mennen (HM) method, numerical analysis or CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations, and model testing, i.e. scaled model tests in towing tanks. At the start of the design stage, when only basic ship parameters are available, only statistical models like the HM method can be used. Numerical analysis/ CFD simulations and model tests can be performed only when the complete 3D design of the ship is completed. The present paper aims at predicting the calm water ship resistance using CFD simulations, using the Flow-3D software package. A case study of a roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferry was investigated. Ship resistance was calculated at various ship speeds. Since the mesh affects the results in any CFD simulation, multiple meshes were used to check the mesh sensitivity. The results from the simulations were compared with the estimate from the HM method. The results from simulations agreed well with the HM method for low ship speeds. The difference in the results was considerably high compared to the HM method for higher ship speeds. The capability of Flow-3D to perform ship resistance analysis was demonstrated.


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How to Cite

Deshpande, S., Sundsbø, P. and Das, S. (2020) “Ship resistance analysis using CFD simulations in Flow-3D”, The International Journal of Multiphysics, 14(3), pp. 227-236. doi: 10.21152/1750-9548.14.3.227.