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Quantifying the Airflow Distortion over Merchant Ships. Part I: Validation of a CFD Model

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  • 1 National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • | 2 School of Engineering Sciences, Ship Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
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Abstract

The effects of flow distortion created by the ship’s hull and superstructure bias wind speed measurements made from anemometers located on ships. Flow distortion must be taken into account if accurate air–sea flux measurements are to be achieved. Little work has been undertaken to examine the wind speed bias due to flow distortion in wind speed reports from voluntary observing ships (VOS). In this first part of a two-part paper the accuracy of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code VECTIS in simulating the airflow over VOS is investigated. Simulations of the airflow over a representation of the bridge of a VOS are compared to in situ wind speed measurements made from six anemometers located above the bridge of the RRS Charles Darwin. The ship’s structure was ideal for reproducing the flow over VOS when the wind is blowing onto either beam. The comparisons showed VECTIS was accurate to within 4% in predicting the wind speed over ships, except in extreme cases such as wake regions or the region close to the bridge top where the flow may be stagnant or reverse direction. The study showed that there was little change in the numerically predicted flow pattern above the bridge with change in Reynolds number between 2 × 105 and 1 × 107. The findings showed that the CFD code VECTIS can reliably be used to determine the mean flow above typical VOS.

Corresponding author address: Dr. B. I. Moat, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom. Email: bim@noc.soton.ac.uk

Abstract

The effects of flow distortion created by the ship’s hull and superstructure bias wind speed measurements made from anemometers located on ships. Flow distortion must be taken into account if accurate air–sea flux measurements are to be achieved. Little work has been undertaken to examine the wind speed bias due to flow distortion in wind speed reports from voluntary observing ships (VOS). In this first part of a two-part paper the accuracy of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code VECTIS in simulating the airflow over VOS is investigated. Simulations of the airflow over a representation of the bridge of a VOS are compared to in situ wind speed measurements made from six anemometers located above the bridge of the RRS Charles Darwin. The ship’s structure was ideal for reproducing the flow over VOS when the wind is blowing onto either beam. The comparisons showed VECTIS was accurate to within 4% in predicting the wind speed over ships, except in extreme cases such as wake regions or the region close to the bridge top where the flow may be stagnant or reverse direction. The study showed that there was little change in the numerically predicted flow pattern above the bridge with change in Reynolds number between 2 × 105 and 1 × 107. The findings showed that the CFD code VECTIS can reliably be used to determine the mean flow above typical VOS.

Corresponding author address: Dr. B. I. Moat, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom. Email: bim@noc.soton.ac.uk

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