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Sven Enger (CD-adapco, Germany)

Milovan Peri (CD-adapco, Germany)
Robinson Peri (University of Erlangen-Nrnberg, Germany)

The paper describes results of computations of
resistance, trim and sinkage for the KRISO
Container Ship (KCS) at different Froude numbers
in calm water. Unstructured trimmed grids with
local refinement in zones of interest have been used
to obtain maximum accuracy at low cell count. The
solution method is of finite-volume type and uses
mostly approximations of second order. Free surface
is modeled using Volume-of-Fluid approach and a
high-resolution interface-capturing scheme. It is
demonstrated that acceptable accuracy can be
achieved with grids containing around half a million
cells for half of the geometry.
Industrial use of Computational Fluid Dynamics
(CFD) requires high level of automation, in order to
provide sufficient accuracy at low effort (both in
terms of manpower and computing time). Therefore
the design of computational grid requires some
effort, so that grid refinement and modifications to
geometry can easily be done. All computations
reported here were performed using the same grid
topology described in the next section. All grids
were created and all computations and postprocessing were performed using STAR-CCM+
The solution method is of finite-volume type and
uses control volumes of arbitrary polyhedral shape.
The conservation equations in integral form for
mass and momentum, together with an equation for
volume fraction of liquid and two or more equations
describing turbulence quantities, are solved using a
segregated iterative solution method based on
SIMPLE-algorithm. Details on discretization and
solution methods can be found in literature and will
not be given here (see Ferziger and Peri, 2003;
Demirdi and Muzaferija, 1995; Weiss et al, 1999).
All surface and volume integrals are approximated

using midpoint rule; interpolation and gradient

approximations are based on linear shape functions.
Since time accuracy in the cases studied here is not
of importance, first-order Euler implicit scheme is
used for time integration.
The free-surface effects are modeled using the so
called Volume-of-Fluid approach: the solution
domain is assumed to be filled by a single effective
fluid whose properties vary locally according to
volume fraction of liquid. This equation contains
only rate-of-change and convective term and its role
is to track the deformation of the initially flat free
surface. The convective terms are discretized using
the HRIC-scheme (Muzaferija and Peri, 1999). It
resolves the free surface typically with one cell
when the interface is expected to be sharp.
In most computations, the standard k- turbulence
model with wall functions was used to describe the
effects of turbulence on the mean flow (Launder and
Spalding, 1974). Some test calculations for the hull
in fixed position and one Froude number were
performed using two other two-equation turbulence
models of edy-viscosity type and the full Reynoldsstress model, which requires the solution of 7
additional equations (6 for Reynolds stress tensor
components and one for the dissipation rate). This
was done to analyze the effects of turbulence models
on the solution.
In addition, grid effects were analyzed by
performing some simulations on a sequence of
systematically refined grids. Grid spacing was
reduced by a factor of 1.5 in the entire solution
domain, except in the prism layer along walls,
where the refinement was only in the directions
tangential to wall. This was done in order to keep y+
values at near-wall cell centers around 50, which was
found in the past to produce best solutions (Azcueta,
2001). However, one simulation was perform with
varying mesh spacing in prism layer in wall-normal
direction to assess the influence of y+ on the predicted

In this study trimmed hexahedral grids with local
refinements and prism layers along walls were used.
The grid generation process is driven by specifying
base mesh size, relative to which all spacings (prism
layer thickness, cell size in various regions etc.) are
defined. Finer meshes of the same topology are then
automatically created by just reducing the base size.
In order to avoid using fine grid where it is not
necessary (in front of hull and at larger distance
above, below, on each side and behind the hull),
local volumes of different shape were created and
assigned particular cell size, resulting in mesh
structure shown in Fig. 1 for the coarsest mesh.

Fig. 1: The structure of the coarse mesh around KCS

hull with rudder, showing local refinement regions
near hull, near free surface, in the wake and in the
wave zone.

Only half of the geometry was considered due to

symmetry conditions. The solution domain extended
from -18 m to 18 m in flow direction, from -18 m to 9
m in vertical direction and from 0 to 18 m in lateral
direction, respectively. The hull length was about 7.7 m
(Lpp = 7.2786, scale factor 31.6) and the coordinate
origin was at aft perpendicular and still water surface
(which was 0.341772 m above keel). In addition to the
symmetry plane of the hull, the lateral boundary
parallel to it was also treated as symmetry plane. At the
downstream boundary, hydrostatic pressure corresponding to the undisturbed water surface was prescribed.
Upstream, top and bottom boundaries were treated as
inlets with prescribed velocity and volume fraction.

Fig. 2: The structure of the fine mesh around KCS

hull with rudder, showing local refinement regions.
The coarse, medium and fine mesh had 544138,
1220966 and 2997355 control volumes, respectively.

There were 6 prism layers along walls (except for nonwetted walls) and the next-to-wall cells were 0.9 mm
thick (prism layer was 20 mm thick, cell expansion
ratio was 1.5). Figure 2 shows the fine mesh segments.


This section contains results for the case of a hull
fixed in its floating position at zero speed (even
keel). The Froude number is 0.26. Computations
were performed in a time-marching mode, starting
with a flat water surface. The time step was 0.04 s
and 4 iterations were performed at each time level.
The standard k- turbulence model with wall
functions was used. Figure 3 shows how forces on
hull converge towards steady-state solution on the
fine mesh. While shear force very quickly settles to
a nearly constant value, pressure force oscillates
around the steady-state value with a diminishing

Fig. 3: Convergence of friction and pressure drag

during computation.
Table 1 shows predicted resistance at each grid
level. The measured value of C T is 3.557 10-3 (Van
et al, 1998) and the numbers in parentheses show
percentage difference to the experimentally obtained
value (the + sign indicates that the value is overpredicted). The predicted total resistance is within
0.5% of measured value on all grids. The variation
from one grid to another is not monotonic: the
largest difference relative to measured value is
obtained on medium grid. While the pressure drag
reduces monotonically with grid refinement, the
friction drag is largest on medium grid. It is not
unusual that such variation is observed, especially
when unstructured, locally refined grids are used.
Table 1: Predicted resistance coefficients on
different grids

CT (103)

CF (103) CP (103)


3.568 (+0.31%)




3.574 (+0.48%)




3.561 (+0.11%)



Figure 4 shows predicted wave pattern, wall shear

stress on the hull and the near-hull y+ distribution.
Only one half of the geometry was computed, but a
mirror image of waves on the other side is also
shown. The y+ values vary between 40 and 60 over
the largest part of the wetted hull surface, as desired
when wall functions are used. The strong reduction
of wall shear stress in the stern region is due to the
diffusor effect in the absence of propeller.

Fig. 4: Wave pattern (upper), wall shear stress

(middle) and near-wall y+ (lower), computed on the
finest mesh.
All three grids in these calculations had the same
number of prism layers at walls: mesh refinement
was done by reducing the cell size in all directions
outside prism layer by a factor of 1.5, and within
prism layer only in the two tangential directions, but
not in the wall-normal direction. The idea here was
to keep the same y+ values at near-wall cells. In
order to verify the effect of variable mesh spacing
inside prism layer, another coarse grid was
generated with 4 prism layers instead of 6. The
expansion factor was the same, but now the nearwall cell was 2.46 mm thick (compared to 0.9 mm
when 6 prism layers were created). This resulted in
y+ values between 100 and 120 over most of the hull
surface. The total resistance computed on this mesh
(which had 501342 cells, compared to 544138 cells
with 6 prism layers) was 3.61410-3, which is 1.6%
more than the measured value (compared with
+0.31% more when 6 prism layers were used).
Although this result is also acceptable for a
relatively coarse mesh, the increase in accuracy
resulting from adding two more prism layers is
worth while.
We also looked at the effects of the choice of
turbulence model on predicted resistance. This
analysis was done using two grids provided by

Germanischer Lloyd; they were of a similar type as

those presented earlier and one had 745434 cells
while the finer one had 2680461 cells. The results
are summarized in Table 2.

motion, 4 to 5 iterations per time steps were

performed, while for the flow computation, 8 to 10
iterations were performed. The time step was the
same for all grids, since temporal accuracy is not of
interest only the final steady-state solution is

Table 2: Predicted resistance coefficients on two

grids using different turbulence models

k- SST
standard two-layer


















The structure of the meshes used here was less

optimized, and hence the effect of mesh refinement
is more visible. For all models but k-, the values
computed on the finer mesh are closer to
experimentally obtained value of 3.557 10-3. The
Reynolds-stress model (RSM) predicts slightly
higher resistance than both versions of k- model,
while the k- SST model under-predicts the
measured value by almost 5%. The fact that for this
model the deviation compared to experiment
increases with grid refinement is due to the fact that
modeling and discretization errors vary locally in
both sign and magnitude; the finding that the k-
model produces the best result is most probably due
to the partial cancellation of the two error types.
Also, the model which predicts resistance closest to
the measured value may not necessarily give the
best velocity distribution in the propeller plane
(RSM is expected to do the best job in this respect).

Fig. 5: Convergence of pitch and heave motion

(upper) and friction and pressure forces (lower) for
Fn = 0.2599 and the finest mesh.


In the second set of simulations, the hull with rudder
was free to heave and pitch. The same grids were
again used, but the mesh was now moving with the
hull as a rigid body. All simulations started with a
flat water surface and hull's bottom parallel to free
surface. The mass of the half hull with rudder was
set to 823.0451 kg, the center of gravity was at x =
3.5315 m (relative to coordinate origin in CAD-file,
which was at aft perpendicular) and 0.1113924 m
below free surface. The moment of inertia for
rotation around y axis, needed for prediction of
pitching motion, was set to 2725.117 kg m 2. Simulations were performed for four Froude numbers:
0.1949, 0.2274, 0.2599 and 0.2816. For the two
smaller Froude numbers, computations were
performed only on the coarsest grid, while for the
two highest Froude numbers, all three grids were
used. The time step was set to 0.04 s for the Froude
number 0.2599, and for other Froude numbers it was
scaled according to velocity variation. For body

Fig. 6: Convergence of pitch and heave motion

(upper) and friction and pressure forces (lower) for
Fn = 0.2816 and the finest mesh.
Figures 5 and 6 show convergence of ship motion
and forces acting on it during simulation on the
finest mesh for the two largest Froude numbers.
Both the amplitude and frequency of oscillations are

higher for lower Froude number. This behavior has

been observed in other applications of the solution
methods to similar problems. No attempts were
made here to vary the parameters in the simulation
to minimize the computing effort needed to obtain
the steady-state solution.

less (0.4%, 1.1% and 0.6% in the order of increasing

Froude number). For Fn = 0.2816, the error is
reducing with grid refinement to 0.2% on the finest
mesh. However, for Fn = 0.2599, the error first
increases to 1.3% and then drops to 1% on the finest
mesh. It is also interesting that the predicted friction
resistance slightly reduces with increasing Froude
number (from 3.035 to 2.985, 2.071 and 2.961),
while the pressure drag increases (from 0.455 to
0.520, 0.701 and 1.549, in the order of increasing
Froude number). The contribution of pressure drag
to total resistance increases sharply from 19.1% at
Fn = 0.2599 to 34.3% at Fn = 0.2816.

Fig. 7: Comparison of predicted and measured total

resistance (upper), sinkage (middle) and trim (lower)
Figure 7 shows comparison of predicted and
measured total resistance, sinkage and trim. The
predicted drag agrees well with experimental data:
the largest discrepancy is 1.66% on the coarsest grid
for Fn = 0.2816. For other Froude numbers, already
on the coarsest grid the error is of the order of 1% or

Fig. 8: Computed wave pattern around KCS-hull for

Froude numbers 0.1949, 0.2274, 0.2599 and 0.2816
(from top to bottom; first two computed on the
coarsest, last two on the finest grid).

The trim and sinkage differ more from experimental

data. The discrepancies in sinkage are 7.7%, 0.8%,
7.0% and 4.1% in the order of increasing Froude
numbers, respectively (the last two values correspond to the finest mesh). Grid refinement did not
result in improvement: the error increased from
5.3% to 7% for Fn = 0.2599, and from 2.5% to 4.1%
for Fn = 0.2816. The errors in trim angle are 1%,
3.3%, 0.7% and 8.6% (from the lowest to the
highest Froude number). At Fn = 0.2599, the
discrepancy reduced from 4.7% to 0.7% with grid
refinement, but for Fn = 0.2816, the discrepancy to
experiment increased slightly from 7.5% to 8.6%.

Fig. 10: Resolution of free surface by HRIC scheme.

The presented results of simulations show that one
can obtain a reliable prediction of resistance of
container vessels using relatively coarse grids with
about half a million cells (for half of the geometry)
when the grid is well designed and locally refined in
critical zones. The standard k- turbulence model
with wall functions is adequate for this purpose and
for optimum results, the prism layers near wall
should be arranged so that y+ values around 50 are
obtained. While the k- and Reynolds-stress model
over-predict resistance by up to 2%, the k- SST
model under-predicts the measured value by almost
[1] Ferziger, J.H. and Peri, M. (2003): Computa-tional
Methods for Fluid Dynamics, 3rd Ed., Springer Verlag,
Berlin, Heidelberg.

Fig. 9: Wave pattern around KCS-hull for Froude

number 0.2816 computed on the coarse (upper) and
fine (lower) grid.
Figure 8 shows predicted wave patterns for the four
Froude numbers. The highest water elevation is
always just behind ship stern, ranging from 45 mm
at Fn = 0.1949 to 95.1 mm at Fn = 0.2816. The
minimum water level is always at hull shoulder,
ranging between -26 mm at Fn = 0.1949 to -64 mm
at Fn = 0.2816. Water elevation is over-predicted on
coarse grids. Figure 9 shows a comparison of wave
pattern at Fn = 0.2816 computed on the coarse and
the fine grid, respectively. The maximum predicted
water elevation on the coarse grid was 98.6 mm,
which dropped to 95.1 mm on the finest mesh (3.7%
change). The lowest predicted point on water using
coarse mesh was at -68.1 mm, which changed to
-63.8 mm on the finest mesh (6.7% change). The
change in resistance, however, was just below 1.5%.
Finally, Fig. 10 shows the resolution of free surface
in the symmetry plane and along hull in the stern
region on coarse grid. Almost everywhere the
interface falls into one cell, which is the maximum
possible resolution by interface-capturing schemes.

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