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International prize for design study on large catamarans

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A study to determine optimum hull size for medium to large sized catamarans has won a leading international maritime research prize.

AMC Associate Lecturer, Dr Max Haase and his team won the Medal of Distinction for best research paper through the Royal Institution of Naval Architecture.

The study aimed to determine the lowest rate of fuel consumption for high-speed catamarans between 110 – 190 metres in length, targeting speeds of 20 to 40 knots.

Dr Haase developed an innovative procedure to utilise computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for full-scale predictions, and embarked on the first hull form study of its kind to consider the full-scale version rather than model-scale types.

Dr Haase said the challenge of the design study was to balance friction and wave making drag on the hull.

“In the speed range we investigated, short hulls usually have a low frictional drag, but high-wave-making drag, while the opposite is true for very slender hulls,” he said.

“We found a compromise in vessel length providing the lowest fuel consumption for a certain speed.”

The study found the lowest fuel consumption depends on speed and loading condition – the more load and the higher the speed, the longer the required hull to minimise fuel consumption. For light cargo and speeds below 26 knots, optimal hull length is 130 m – for heavy cargo and speeds up to 34 knots, a hull of 170 m will result in lowest fuel consumption.

Dr Haase said the international recognition was a great reward for the hard work over the course of his PhD and a practical example of the partnership possible between research institutions and the private sector.

“This has been a fantastic example of a collaboration between the academia and industry where the innovative research techniques together with practical applications from industry partners provided groundbreaking outcomes.”

He said industry could use the results as design guidelines for large catamarans (110m – 190m).

“The novel methodology developed can be used in future projects to predict the performance of a full-scale vessel without uncertainties arising from empirically extrapolating model-scale results as being application for full-scale vessels.”

The paper was published in the RINA Transactions, International Journal of Maritime Engineering.

CFD is a cost-effective way for organisations in sectors such as marine renewable energy, vessel design, offshore engineering and port development to optimise their designs and operations.   

Dr Haase’s expertise is available to companies as a consultancy service via AMC Search, the commercial arm of the Australian Maritime College.

For more information, please contact AMC Search.

Published on: 18 Sep 2017