Energy Efficient Air Cavity Ships

The application of air lubrication has been used in high-speed planning boats by continuously releasing a layer of air under the hull, which is not economically viable in big ships. For large displacement ships the major contribution to the drag force comes from water-hull friction. Decreasing the area of wetted surface under the hull results in lower drag force hence less energy consumption in a marine vehicle.  Implementing a pressurized air cavity under the hull prevents the direct contact between water and hull surface and also minimizes the air release.
Project objective
The goal of this project is to study the optimum configuration of a stable air cavity with the least drag force and air flow rate through experimental investigation in water tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique.  The re-attachment process of the water to the rear section of cavity, air pressure effect in multi-wave cavity and three-dimensional free-surface wave interaction inside the cavity are among the investigated subjects in the project.

Using computational simulation, validated by experiment, provides better information of the flow field and water hull interaction, which leads to an optimized design of the new air cavity hull concept.

SSPA Sweden AB, Stena AB, and Swedish Energy Agency research program on energy efficient transportation.

Published: Mon 05 Dec 2011. Modified: Mon 16 Nov 2015