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The Application of a New Tank Containment System to ULTRA-Large LNG Carriers

Regu Ramoo Director of Engineering, Altair ProductDesign, Inc. 1820 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48083, USA

Prof. Thomas Lamb University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA copyright Altair Engineering, Inc. 2011

The maximum size of LNG Carriers on order has doubled in the past few years. These ULTRA-large LNG Carriers introduce a number of unique problems because of their size, such as liquid sloshing and the requirement that they must stay within the current draft restriction of 12.2 m even as their deadweight doubles. This means that their length, beam and/or block coefficient must be increased more than for ships without draft restrictions. It also suggests that because of the draft restriction there may be a practical size limit for LNG Carriers. This also impacts efficient propulsion, building, and operating costs. Another somewhat lesser problem is the significant increase in the above water profile area. The paper examines the size problem and reports on the benefits of the Cubic Doughnut tank containment system on the supporting ship design. The new tank containment system is described for its specific advantages for large capacity LNG Carriers, but it is noted that these benefits also apply to existing size LNG Carriers, LPG Carriers, and Floating LNG/Oil and LNG Production and Storage Offshore Units.



The transport of LNG by sea started in the late 1960s and has continued to grow, almost constantly, since then. Economic trends suggest that this will continue for the near future with new fields and new consumers entering the market. With the growth in demand the size of the LNG Carriers also increased. The recent annual growth in size has been about10% over a number of years until the jump from 135,000 to over 250,000 m3 in 2006 (NOBLE, LEVINE & COLTON 2004 and SCHEIBACK, NOBLE & BROMAN 2006). These ULTRA-large LNG Carriers introduce a number of unique problems because of their size. Liquid sloshing limits the carriage of LNG in large side to side membrane tanks to be either over 80% or less than 10% full to avoid damage to the tank lining and insulation. The current draft restriction of 12.2 m is a significant design constraint as LNG Carriers increase in size. The 267,000 m3 LNG Carriers can only increase the draft by 10% (11 m to 12.2 m) compared to 138,000 m3 LNG Carriers though the deadweight and thus displacement almost doubles. This means that the length, beam and block coefficient must all be increased greater than normal for ships without draft restrictions. This also adversely impacts efficient propulsion, building, and operating costs. It is possible that a technical size limit exists at some point because of this draft restriction. Another somewhat lesser problem is the significant increase in the above water profile area. This can require improved propulsion, steering, and other design features to maintain acceptable maneuverability. The paper will consider these problems (and the resulting design opportunities) by reporting on a ship design synthesis study to find if there is a technical size limit. It will be seen that this limit is well above the current 267,000 m3 LNG Carriers; however the associated sloshing problems will be more severe for these larger ships. The sloshing problem may be the factor that restricts the ship size. A new containment tank system, the Cubic Doughnut Tank System (CDTS) is described for its specific advantages for very large LNG Carriers, but it is noted that these benefits also apply to existing size LNG Carriers, LPG Carriers, and Floating LNG/Oil and LNG Production and Storage Offshore Units.

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Size Trends

The first LNG Carrier had a capacity of 26,000 m3 and was delivered in 1965. Other size achievements were 75,000 m3 in 1969, 83,000 m3 in 1973, and 126,000 m3 in 1975. This was an average growth rate of 10,000 m3 per year. After that there was a 30 year period with a relatively slow capacity growth of only 833 m3 per year. Then in 2005 there was a leap to over 250,000 m3 with orders for 265,000 m3 in 2006. Such leaps in size are not normal and they beg questions about performance. The obvious question is how large can they be? For LNG Carriers with their restricted draft it is reasonable to believe that there may be a maximum limit. In order to determine what the limit may be, a series of preliminary design ship sizing calculations were performed utilizing the Michigan Ship Design Synthesis System (MSDSS). LNG Carriers are the ocean transportation part of the total production to user system. So it is possible that some other part of the system, such as receiving terminal capacity, may be the factor that limits the size of future LNG Carriers. This paper does not consider this complete system: an economic/design synthesis analysis was performed using the MSDSS for the sea transportation part. This ship design synthesis system was described in previous papers (LAMB 1974 and LAMB & KOTINIS 2003). For a Membrane ship, and both the restricted and unrestricted draft situations, the MSDSS was run for one ship for a range of annual cargo delivered and the maximum size derived for a number of speeds and the results are summarized in Figures 1 through 4. The study showed, what is generally known to be the case for other transport systems, that the largest carrier with the lowest speed gave the best Required Freight Rate (RFR). It can be seen from Figure 1 that there are design solutions up to 340,000 m3 for a restricted draft of 12.2 m and up to 500,000 m3 and probably beyond even this when there is no draft restriction.

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Figure 1. Size versus RFR for a Fixed Speed of 19.5 knots and a Round Trip Voyage of 24,000 n.m. for Membrane LNG Carriers
The size of a 500,000 m3 LNG Carrier is similar to 300,000 TDWT Bulk Carrier in Table 1, but the draft is half. The unrestricted draft for a 340,000 m3 LNG Carrier with a length of 360 m is 14.5 m. Figure 1 also shows that the draft restriction appears to cause a 5% operating cost penalty for a 340,000 m3 LNG Carrier. The building cost penalty is about 10%. From the study, it appears that there is no design limit from a technical point of view if the draft restriction is eliminated. Rather, practical availability of building docks or berths and repair dock size are what dictates the maximum size of LNG Carriers. The largest ship ever built was the Knok Nevis tanker. Its dimensions are given in Table 1. The FPSOs currently being built are also large, and typical dimensions for an FPSO are given in Table 1. The current largest ships are tankers, bulk carriers and containerships. Dimensions for the largest of these are also given in Table 1. It can be seen that containerships have dimensions similar to LNG Carriers including the draft restriction but not as severe. Of course containerships have a much finer hull form because of their higher speed requirements.

Table 1 - 340,000 M3 Carrier Size Comparisons with Other Ship Types

The table shows that the 340,000 m3 LNG Carrier with membrane tanks would be larger than all the others except the 565,000 TDWT Tanker. Unfortunately there are less than 7 shipyards in the world that could build a ship of length 390 m and breadth 64 m without resorting to innovative building approaches that allow larger size vessels to be constructed, but at an additional cost. If the length can be restricted to 340 m then the number of shipyards that can build the ship would be almost 20. The same applies to the availability of drydocks for maintenance and repair. There would be less than 10 in the world that could dock a 390 m long ship. It is therefore suggested that the maximum LNG carrier using membrane lined tanks will be about 340,000 m3 and probably it will have to have a centerline longitudinal double surface bulkhead to eliminate sloshing problems. Even this work-around will require special design characteristics to get the length down from 390 to 340 m so that more shipyards would be able to build them. Figure 2 shows the effect of the draft restriction on Length between Perpendiculars (LBP) and Figure 3 shows the effect on the other principle dimensions for membrane LNG Carriers. Figure 4 shows the relationship of speed on the required capacity, build cost, and RFR for a constant quantity of LNG delivered annually for a 13,000 n.m. round trip.

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Figure 2. LBP versus Capacity Showing Effect of Restricted Draft

Figure 3. Effect of Restricted Draft on Membrane LNG Carrier Dimensions

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Figure 4. Speed versus RFR for a Constant Quantity of LNG Delivered Annually for 13,000 n.m. Round Trip (Membrane LNG Carriers)


Size Problems

There are several problems for LNG carriers as their size increase. Some of these have been corrected with proven work-a-rounds for other very large ship types, such as restricted draft, single screw versus twin screw propulsion, and maneuvering. However, there are unique issues associated with LNG carriers because of the nature of LNG, such as tank sloshing, loading/unloading rate, and tank size. The problems resulting from restricted draft was shown in previous sections of this paper to be both an acquisition and an operational cost penalty as LNG carrier size increases. The other problems have been extensively covered in other papers and articles. In this paper only the tank sloshing problem will be further addressed, specifically how the new tank containment system significantly reduces the problem. Tank sloshing has been around with ship designers and operators since liquids were first carried in ships. However the liquids were carried in tanks with much smaller capacities (dimensions). Even the tanks in the largest tankers were less than 50 m in length and 30 m in breadth whereas LNG tanks can be over 50 m in length and over 40 m in breadth. Also the tanks in tankers are integral structural tanks and thus more able to withstand the sloshing loads and occasionally have a transverse SWASH Bulkhead at mid-length of the tanks which reduces the fore and aft sloshing loads on the tight transverse bulkheads, whereas the current trend in LNG carriers is the membrane lined and insulation box supported tanks, which has been shown to have sloshing problems (damage to lining and insulation) as size increases. It is expected that as membrane LNG carriers increase in size they will have to adopt a centerline bulkhead to reduce the sloshing loads. This design alternative doubles the number of tanks and all the systems that go with each tank, including significantly more structural steel, resulting in significant increase in cost.


CDTS Description

The CDTS was developed over 30 years ago but nothing was done with it as interest in importing LNG disappeared along with the cessation of diplomatic relations with Algeria. The basis for its design was constructing a self-standing tank surface composed of 12 identical, in form, intersecting cylinders that formed the twelve edges of a cube that would have a significantly better volumetric efficiency than a spherical tank. Where the intersecting cylinders met in the center of each face a closing cap was provided. Figure 5 (from the original patent) shows the form of the tank. It was expected that the tank surface thickness would be significantly less than those of an equal volume spherical tank because of the less than half radius of the cylinders compared to the sphere. The initial idea was that the cylindrical shape would provide the strength to support the liquid inside the tank.

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Figure 5. Cubic Doughnut Tank System (CDTS) In 2005 Regu Ramoo joined Lamb in developing the CDTS using their advanced structural analysis and simulation systems. It became immediately clear that the original tank structural objectives could not be attained as proposed but they could be attained by connecting all the center caps together by a cross bracing structure as can be seen in Figure 6. A concept without the spherical end caps is shown in Figure 7. This concept also includes the central cross brace which is not shown in the figure.

Figure 6. CDTS with Cylindrical Forms and Spherical Caps

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Figure 7. CDTS with All Cylindrical Forms


CDTS Description

Due to the magnitude of the sloshing loads that are generated, significant design efficiencies can be realized if the profile of the containment volume itself contributes to attenuating the liquid impingement forces on the tank walls. Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) simulations using Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) were carried out to compare the performance of the Cubic Doughnut Tank System (CDTS) to a conventional prismatic shaped tank. Figure 8 shows two 40,000 m3 tank models containing equal quantities of liquid in the tanks. The tank is rotated about its base from -30 to +30 simulating an 8-second period. Figure 9 shows the sinusoidal roll profile of an 8-second roll period and Figure 10 shows the model setup.

Figure 8. Model Description

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Figure 9. Roll Profile

Figure 10. Model Setup To simulate the motion of the ship in beam, bow, and bow-quartering seas, the tanks were oscillated about their longitudinal, transverse and mid off-axes to simulate the influence of different ship motions on sloshing loads (rolling, pitching and mixed). Figures 11 and 12 depict the fluid motion during the rolling of the ship when the tank is 80 percent full. Figure 13 shows a comparison of the sloshing loads on the sides of tanks when the tank is 80 percent full. It can be seen that after a 3 period, the forces on the sides of the tank are comparable. The CDTS tank does not provide any significant of advantage when the tank is filled at 80%. Figures 14 and 15 depict the fluid motion during the rolling of the ship when the tank is 50% full. Figure 16 shows a comparison of the sloshing loads on the sides of tanks when the tank is 50 percent full. When the tank is 50% full the sloshing loads are significantly

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lower on the CDTS tank. The cross brace of the CDTS reduces the velocity of the fluid before it impacts the side of the tank. Figures 17 and 18 depict the fluid motion in case of the case of a pitching motion when the tank is 50% full. Figure 19 shows a comparison of the sloshing loads on the sides of tanks when the tank is 50 percent full. When the tank is 50% full the sloshing loads are significantly lower on the CDTS tank walls. The cross brace of the CDTS reduces the velocity of the fluid before it impacts the side of the tank. Figures 20 and 21 show corresponding results for quartering seas.

Figure 11. Membrane Tank 80% Full - Rolling motion

Figure 12. CDTS Tank 80% Full - Rolling motion

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Figure 13. Comparison of Sloshing Loads with Tank 80% Ful

Figure 14. Membrane Tank 50% Full - Rolling Motion

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Figure 15. CDTS Tank 50% Full - Rolling Motion

Figure 16. Comparison of Sloshing Loads under roll motion with Tank at 50% Capacity

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Figure 17. Membrane Tank 50% Full - Pitching Motion

Figure 18. CDTS Tank 50% Full - Pitching Motion

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Figure 19. Comparison of Sloshing Loads in Pitch with Tank At 50% Capacity

Figure 20. CDTS Tank 50% Full Bow/Stern-Quartering Seas

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Figure 21. CDTS Tank 50% Full Bow-Quartering Seas


CDTS Structural Design and Analysis

The structural analyses of the CDTS was performed using OptiStruct which is a finite element software developed by ALTAIR Engineering Inc. Topology optimization was performed in order to determine the load path and strengthen the initial concept (baseline design) by adding reinforcements and support structures. Thickness optimization was then performed in order to determine an optimal thickness distribution that would meet the required stress level. A brief description of the analyses is presented in the remainder of this section. The finite element model of the CDTS is shown in Figure 22. The top portion of the model has been removed, in the right hand view, to show the central cross brace. The model comprises of first order quadrilateral and triangular elements. The load was the hydrostatic pressure of liquid natural gas (specific gravity of 0.5) occupying about 95% of the tank. A uniform shell thickness of 50mm was initially assumed since thickness optimization was to be performed subsequent to topology optimization in order to determine an optimal thickness distribution. The weight of the baseline model is 3055 Ton. The material used for the tank is nickel steel with a modulus of 210,000 MPa and Poisson ratio of 0.3. The constraints applied to the finite element model are shown in Figure 23 where 1, 2, and 3 denote the x, y and z translations in a global cartesian coordinate system. The stress distribution is shown in Figure 24. The cylindrical portions and the spherical end caps at the corners of the tank have been partially masked in one of the contour plots in Figure 24 in order to show the stress distribution at the interior cross braces. Design Synthesis: Developing the Optimal Design As can be seen in Figure 24, the stress level is very high in the baseline design due to the hydrostatic pressure load. A topology optimization was performed on the baseline design in order to determine a load path and strengthen the baseline design by adding reinforcements and support structures. Topology Optimization is a mathematical technique that produces an

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optimized shape and material distribution for a structure within a given package space. By discretizing the domain into a finite element mesh, OptiStruct calculates material properties for each element. The objective of the optimization problem was minimization of the compliance with a constraint on the volume fraction of the material as 30%. The mass of this design is 3,823 Tonnes with a constant shell thickness of 50 mm. No doublers are used in the design. However, it is known that the shell plate thickness will vary with location and depth in the tank. So a Free Size Optimization was performed on the topological optimized design.

Figure 22. FE Model of the Baseline CDTS Design

Figure 23. Constraints used in the FE Model of the Baseline CDTS Design

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Free - Size optimization With the topologically optimized design, the stresses in the supporting cross brace of the modified design are observed to be lower and more uniformly distributed. However, the weight of the modified design is higher than that of the baseline design. A free size optimization was performed on the modified design in order to determine an optimal thickness distribution that reduces the weight and yet maintain an acceptable stress level. A free size optimization is similar to conventional thickness optimization except that the thickness of every element in the finite element model of the design space is a design variable. Unlike conventional thickness optimization, free-size optimization results in continuously variable shell thickness in the design space. A variable thickness part is typically far more expensive to manufacture and may not be a viable choice at first glance. It should be emphasized that the results of free-size optimization should not be considered as a final design. The relative difference of thickness between the elements should be considered as a good indication of the optimal thickness distribution of the structure. Based on this result, the design space could be subdivided into smaller zones and a conventional gauge optimization could be performed to fine tune the thickness of the different zones. The design variables in this case would be the thickness of the various zones and they could be either continuous or discrete variables. The cost and feasibility of manufacturing could be taken into consideration when subdividing the design space. Cross Brace Type Tank Support One of the earlier considerations for supporting the tank was through the use of a structural cross brace and a vertical base stanchion. With this arrangement, the tank would be supported using transverse and longitudinal beams integrated with the of an extension. The cross brace would be supported through a self centering wedge type arrangement on the hull and the separating bulkheads between tanks. The free-size optimization was posed as minimization of compliance with a stress constraint of 250 MPa and weight constraint of 2500 T. This results in a stress level which is under 57% of the ultimate strength [for fatigue endurance targets] of 9% nickel steel which is about 587 MPa on average (varies from 552 to 621 MPa). The thickness was allowed to vary from 15 mm to 75 mm. The thickness distribution obtained from the free-size optimization which is continuously variable is shown in Figure 25. Based on these results the thickness was assigned to different parts so that the structure is easier to manufacture. This thickness distribution is shown in Figure 26. The resulting stress distribution is shown in Figure 27. The final weight of the optimized steel tank is 2,404 tonnes, a significant reduction from the baseline 3,823 tonnes.

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Figure 24. Von Mises Stress in MPa due to Hydrostatic Pressure (Baseline Design)

Figure 25. Continuously Variable Thickness Distribution from Free-Size Optimization

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Figure 26. Discrete Manufacturable Thickness Distribution (2404 T)

Figure 27. Von Mises stress in MPa due to Hydrostatic Pressure on the Design with Discrete Manufacturable Thickness Distribution Base Skirt Type Tank Support It was observed that the high stresses in the cross braces (Figure 24) was mainly due to supporting the tank on the sides. The thickness of the web of the cross braces was high in order to mitigate the high stresses. In a subsequent design the side supports were eliminated. Instead the tank was supported on the hull using an outer skirt and an inner skirt as shown in Figure 28. The cross braces were reduced from 4m squire dimension to 2m. A slice of the hull was also included in the finite element model. Both the hydrostatic and sloshing load cases were considered for the tank. Gravity was included in both the load cases. The initial thickness of all the components including the hull was set to 50mm. The stress on the tank in this baseline configuration is shown in Figure 29. Only the sloshing load case is shown as this is more severe than the hydrostatic load case.

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Figure 28. Tank Support Free size optimization was performed with the objective and constraint as mentioned above. The hull was not considered for the free size optimization. The thickness and stress distribution after the free size optimization are shown in Figure 30. Though the stress level after size optimization has reduced significantly, it is still higher than the allowable stress of 250 MPa. This packaging approach through the use of a skirt instead of equatorial supports in the transverse and longitudinal planes has some inherent advantages. Installation of the tank could be less labor intensive. The hull sides would require no more stiffeners than a conventional vessel since all the weight will be transferred through the base. Positioning and centering during installation would also be simpler since it would involve just one horizontal datum.

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Figure 29. Stress Distribution on the Tank due to Sloshing Load (Combination of Pitching and Rolling Motion when Tank is 50% Full)

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Figure 30. Thickness and Stress Distribution after Free Size Optimization (Sloshing Load Case) Based on the results of the initial optimization, thicker shell plating would be required at the seams of the lobes as before. Corners of intersecting cylinders would also require thicker shell plating as shown above. Work is ongoing on further optimizing the tank and the tank support structure and also with the hull structure included in the optimization.


Comparison of CDTS with other Containment Systems

Figure 31 shows the outlines in two views of membrane, spherical and CDTS tanks of equal volume. It can be seen that the spherical tank is larger in all dimensions whereas the membrane tank is only larger than the CDTS in length and breadth. Table 2 shows the relative weights for tanks and insulation for the various containment systems. It was developed for use in the MSDSS and the values are representative for preliminary design and should not be used in final design decision. It can be seen that the CDTS with aluminum tanks is the same total tank and insulation weight as the membrane system. Figure 32 shows the Volumetric Efficiency of the various tank containment systems. The CDTS has a volumetric efficiency between the current membrane tanks system and the proposed PRISM membrane system (Noble 2005). The volumetric efficiency of different types of tanks is compared in Table 3. It can be seen from the table and Figure 30 that the CDTS is 60% better that spherical tanks.

Figure 31. Comparison of Outlines for Different Containment Tank Systems for Equal Volume Next the use of ship space was compared. Table 4 shows the hold space required by each of the systems being compared for a 138,000 and 400.000 m3 LNG Carrier. An illustration of

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hold space is shown in Figure 33. It can be seen that the space usage for the CDTS is better than the other systems.

Table 2. Relative Weight Ratios for Tanks and Insulation for 135,000 m3 LNG Carrier

Figure 32. Volumetric Efficiency of some LNG Containment Systems

Table 3. Comparison of Tank Volumetric Efficiency

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Figure 33. Tank Space Required by Tank Containment System for 300,000 m3 Capacity - Membrane, Spherical and CDTS

Table 4. Comparison of Hold Space Required by Prismatic, Membrane, Spherical and CDTS


Impact of CDTS on Ship Design

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The CDTS would be designed as an Independent Type B, leak before failure, marine LNG containment system. It would have an insulated spill tray under the containment tank on the ships tank top, similar to the Moss Rosenberg spherical tank. The reduced hold length and width for the CDTS is the clear advantage of the CDTS and results in a smaller ship (length and beam). This benefit is somewhat reduced for the case of restricted draft LNG Carriers as the only way the required displacement can be achieved is by a workable combination of length, breadth and block coefficient. Nevertheless Figure 34 shows the clear advantage of the CDTS. The Figure is based on actual ships up to 140,000 m3 and for the Membrane tank system ships up to the proposed 267,000 m3. The CDTS line is based on preliminary designs. An interesting benefit of the CDTS is that, within the existing draft limit, an LNG carrier utilizing the CDTS can carry 50,000 more cubic meters of LNG than a membrane LNG carrier. If the draft limit can be increased to say 15 m then a 500,000 m3 LNG carrier utilizing the CDTS is feasible within the existing building dock limit of 390 m, which is 100,000 m3 more than the comparable membrane carrier. A final item to note from the figure is that the draft restriction effect occurs for significantly smaller carriers than the membrane, namely 150,000 versus 270,000 m3.

Figure 34. LNG Carrier LBP versus LNG Capacity Table 5 shows the difference in ship characteristics for a hypothetical 300,000 m3 LNG Carrier for the various tank containment systems. It can be seen from the table that the CDTS offers significant Build Cost, Gross Tonnage and weight savings but most importantly power and thus fuel savings. Figure 35 shows the General Arrangement of a large LNG carrier using the CDTS.

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Table 5. Predicted Ship Characteristics for 300,000 M3 19.5 Knot LNG Carrier

Figure 35. CDTS LNG Carrier Profiles The Impact of the CDTS on the ships structural arrangement can be seen from Figure 36, the Midship Section and Figure 37, the Centerline Profile. They also show the preferred support arrangement, which was selected after examining many concepts of support using ALTAIRs advanced structural analysis software, and is discussed in more detail later in the paper.

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Figure 36. Midship Section

Figure 37. Center Line Profile


Construction Benefits

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A major construction benefit results for the CDTS by uncoupling the tank building and installation schedule from the ship construction schedule, that is that the Membrane Tank System LNG ships require a significant time afloat to install the insulation and membrane lining, often as long as the hull erection time.Like other independant tank systems the CDTS would significantly reduce the tank installation time afloat to almost zero compared to the membrane tank system. The CDTS offers all the benefits of the independent tank systems such as the spherical and prismatic self-standing tank systems, but with a simpler ship hull construction and tank/hull integration such as: no need to stage the hold to apply insulation and lining to the structure, tanks can be installed in one piece at the best time in the ship construction build sequence, tanks can be constructed from aluminum or special steel, tanks can be structurally and leak tested before installation in the ship, eliminates the significant welding of the insulation and lining securing strips and the lining onboard the ship, is not subject to the same damage from dropped items as the membrane tank containment system, a smaller skirt system compared to the spherical tank containment system, the service/maintenance benefit in that the internal ships structure and the tank insulation can be inspected, and tank insulation is shaped only in two dimensions not three as in spherical tanks

Further, the CDTS can be constructed using typical shipyard rolling and forming equipment. It is made up of 12 identical partial cylindrical tubes (made from identical or mirror image plates) and 8 identical spherical corners. One version (Figure 19) even deletes the spherical corners to simplify the construction and increase capacity, but at an additional material cost and design complexity. While the CDTS offers benefits just from the tank design, construction and installation in the ship, it offers unique benefits in the design of the ship including shorter length, which has construction benefits in less work content for the same capacity ship compared with any other system.

10.0 Impact on Cost

Building Cost Estimates were made for the comparison LNG tank containment systems in vessels, and the results are shown in Table 6 where the original membrane design with UNRESTRICTED draft is given the value of100. It can be seen that the LNG Carrier utilizing the CDTS has a potential building cost saving of 11% for the unrestricted draft and 7% for the restricted draft. In addition there will be operating cost benefits from the lower power and thus fuel costs and the reduced Gross Tonnage further reducing the RFR. From the ship design synthesis program it appears that the RFR benefit could be 18% for a 340,000 m 3 LNG Carrier.

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Table 6. Building Cost Comparison for LNG Carriers

11.0 Family of Ships Approach

Sometimes when a major component of a ship is repeatable a family of ships approach is developed to save design cost and time and the resulting building cost benefits from the approach. For example a standard tanker design which is made into a family by adding or deleting one or more cargo tank lengths. The disadvantage is that only one member of the family will be the least cost design. Also it is possible that each of the other members could be built for less if a unique design was developed. To be acceptable the savings from the family approach must be more than the savings from the unique design approach. The family of ships approach was examined for the design of a number of LNG Carriers using a CDTS tank of 40 m cubic dimensions with a 52,000m3 capacity to see if the benefits it offered were greater than the unique ship design approach. The base ship would be a 4 tank design with the family offering 5 and 6 tank derivatives. Each of the derivatives would be developed by plugging in a cargo tank space of 46 m length. Table 7 shows the particulars of each ship. It is possible that the family of ships approach may be acceptable; say in the case of the Spherical Tank System design due to the high retooling cost. The CDTS does not have the high retooling cost, and thus eliminates the benefit of the family of ships approach. Table 8 compares the family of ships largest ship with a unique design for the same capacity and it can be seen that the difference is substantial and the additional cost of the family approach is estimated to be between 20 and 30%. The family design would have six 40 m cubic tanks whereas the unique design would have four 44 m. Finally the family design would cost 15% more than the unique design. Figure 38 shows the arrangement of the three ships in the family.

Table 7. Family of Ships Design Particulars

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Table 8. Comparison of Family and Unique Designs

Figure 38. Family of Ships Arrangements

12.0 Support Approach

The support approach is based on supporting the CDTS by a skirt at the bottom around its perimeter and in the center. The skirt system is similar to that used on the spherical tank system. The approach can be seen in Figure 39. As previously mentioned in the paper this aspect of the structural analysis is just starting and a major decision is how the load will be shared between the base support and the horizontal cross brace extensions. System level optimization studies that factor design robustness, ease of fabrication, access and serviceability, and cost are being performed. The hull and tank were structurally optimized as a system to ensure that the structural rigidity of the hull and the free-standing CDT tanks are compatible and complementary. A Design of Experiments (DoE) approach was used to develop a supporting system that optimally distributes the contact loads to the supporting structures and surfaces.

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Figure 39. CDTS Skirt Support Approach

13.0 Conclusions
The paper has shown that with the existing draft restriction of 12.2 m, there is a size limit for the current LNG containment systems If the draft restriction could be increase by 2 meters, there would really be no limit to the size that LNG carriers could be designed within the current maximum size of other ships but that the limit would be set by available building and repair docks that could accommodate them. It also showed the benefits of a new LNG Tank Containment System, namely the CDTS, that: significantly reduces the overall construction schedule compared to the membrane tank system, eliminated the restriction on partial filling of tanks for sloshing, reduced the estimated cost of LNG carrier by 11% with no draft restriction and 7% with draft restriction, enabled the design of a LNG Carrier 50,000 m3 larger than the maximum membrane carrier with the existing draft limit and 100,000 m3 if the draft is increased by 2 meters, provided ease of construction and ease of installation in the ship, offered superior structural efficiency, reduced ship size resulting in less installed power and thus fuel savings in service, and, utilized simple support system,

all combining to offer a cost effective solution for LNG carriers of any size but especially the Ultra Large carriers being considered for the future marine transportation of LNG. The use of the CDTS also eliminates any benefit from the family of ships approach. The high sloshing loads in large tanks that can cause failure of membrane lining and the supporting insulation boxes are effectively attenuated in the CDTS. The containment profile comprising of curved walls and the internal cross-brace significantly reduces the impingement

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forces on the walls of the tank by as much as 40%. This eliminates the liquid level restriction of more than 80% full or less than 10% full associated with membrane tanks. The lower sloshing loads also provide opportunities for designing a more mass efficient structure and inturn lower lightship weight and associated cost savings. There is still significant structural analysis to be preformed but that performed to date is encouraging and expectations continue to drive the design effort to completion.

14.0 Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge with thanks the support of ALTAIR Engineering and their vision of a future for the CDT system. The application of their advanced CAE tools to a practical idea has enabled this concept to be further developed and proven its feasibility.

15.0 References
LAMB, T, The Effects of Intended Trade Route on the Optimum Size of LNG Tankers, (1974) LNG-4 Conference, Algeria, June 27 LAMB, T., and KOTINIS, M, A Set-based Ship Design Synthesis System, (2003) IMDC 2003, Athens, Greece NOBLE, P., LEVINE, R., and COLTON, T., Planning the Design, Construction and Operation of a New LNG Transportation System Ships, Terminals and Operations, (2004) RINA International Conference on the Design & Operations of Gas Carriers, September 2004, London SCHEIBACH, K., NOBLE, P., and BROMAN, C., The Next Generation of Large LNG Carriers. (2006) The Ninth International Marine Design Conference, IMDC 2006, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2006

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