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Wednesday, January 29, 2020 

German propulsion manufacturer Schottel says that it is currently in a six-digit euro range investment which will enable the company to maintain its high level of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capability, allowing it to create simulations for optimisation of propulsion solutions.

Manfred Heer, VP Technology, said: “At Schottel, CFD simulations have been an integral part of the hydrodynamic design process for years. CFD calculations can be used to simulate and analyse a wide range of different applications, such as open-water propeller performance, vessel resistance and towing power, manoeuvrability, risk of cavitation or noise development. In addition, this method enables us to obtain valuable load data for the mechanical components of our propulsion systems. By this means, for example, it is possible to simulate extreme operating conditions which would not be tested in real ship operation for safety reasons.

“By increasing our capacities, we can ensure CFD calculations of the highest possible quality. The degree of detail in the calculations can be enhanced to practically any level required by the task at hand. It is measured against the relevance of the results and is carefully adjusted while taking into account the predicted computing time and the available computing capacity. This means that we can calculate everything that is relevant to fluid dynamics. Beyond this, we are able to support every development project with CFD and make even more precise assertions about the flow behaviour.”

CFD simulations are generally considered to be less expensive and faster than complex model trials. Conservation equations (i.e. equations in which the value of a variable does not change in certain physical processes) for physical variables, such as mass, momentum and energy, are used to describe the flow properties around the complex geometries in the flow space. At the end of the calculation, the computational solution of these equations provides exact information about the three-dimensional flow field throughout the entire area under investigation.

The procedure during a CFD simulation can be divided into three steps: pre-processing, the actual calculation during the solving phase and post-processing; in the latter step, the results are validated and visualized.

The intermeshing application of CFD simulations and finite element methods (FEM for short) brings together technologies for flow calculation with mechanics. When combined with know-how acquired over many years, these techniques make a significant contribution to efficient and reliable propulsion.

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