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ship Operation | Model testing

The effects of passing ships


on moored vessels
force determinationThe effects of passing ships on moored vessels can be analysed in
various ways. MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands) is involved in several projects
that calculate these forces.

M
ARINs shallow water basin facil- keel clearance is small, viscous effects are
itates a wide range of model test- expected to be important. Therefore, the
ing. A recent ship passing study flow around the passing ship was analysed
showed this versatility when two com- by the RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier
plete harbours were modelled, including Stokes) code ReFRESCO, which accurately
more than 4,000m of their surrounding takes into account the viscous boundary
shoreline. This study aimed to investi- layer and lift effects on the hull. The effect
gate the feasibility of two possible new of the flow on the moored ship and the re-
barge dock locations at an existing termi- sulting forces were then analysed using the
nal in Beaumont, Texas, USA. The main linear diffraction code DIFFRAC. For this
objective was to assess the mooring line purpose, a coupling between the two codes
loads on two barges moored in the dock was made.
when a vessel passes. Model testing of Passing ship model tests in the shallow
passing ship effects in narrow waterways water basin were then used for the valida-
requires special attention. Modelling the tion of the coupled tools. This validation
approach of the passing vessel is one showed that viscous effects were indeed im-
of the points that need additional care. portant in the case of drifting ships. Forces
When the passing vessel is not accelerat- on the moored ship can be computed with
ed appropriately in the basin, unwanted satisfactory accuracy up to drift angles of
shock-type waves propagate in front of at least 15% and a considerable improve-
it. For the Beaumont terminal study the ment was obtained compared with a full
model setup ensured that no shock-type potential flow approach. For small drift an-
waves were generated. gles, a potential flow solution for the pass-
An additional point of interest is the mod- ing ship turned out to be sufficient.
elling of the mooring system. Monopiles,
fenders and mooring lines can all be mod- Computer modelling and full-scale
elled in the basin. However, for this project monitoring
a numerical model was set up for the Existing ports have to accommodate ships
mooring system of the barges. The barges with ever increasing sizes. ROPES, a new
were rigidly moored in the basin and the joint industry project, is developing reli-
measured (time-dependent), total mooring able computer models to predict motions
forces were used as input for the numeri- and the mooring loads of moored ships,
cal model. This means different mooring and at the same time it is contributing
layouts could be studied without carrying to innovative, dynamic berth systems.
out additional model tests. By changing Moored ships experience suction effects
the harbour depth and the speed and di- from passing ships and these increase in
mensions of the passing vessel in the basin relation to the restriction of the waterway
tests, and by varying the mooring layout in and the size and speed of the passing ship.
the numerical simulations, a complete se- The passing distance is obviously a critical
ries of tests was performed that provided variable. Passing events can threaten load-
the information the customer needed to ing and discharging operations in both a
continue the project. safety-related and economic sense; exces-
sive motions may lead to interruptions,
Numerical tests damage and even to dangerous situations.
The effects of passing ships on moored ROPES is developing a numerical predic-
vessels can also be investigated numeri- tion method to quantify these effects for
cally. An investigation was made into the arbitrary ship and port geometries. To
applicability of MARINs in-house tools investigate the physics of the real world
to predict passing ship effects. A distinc- and to validate the numerical model, an
tion was made between the flow around extensive, full-scale monitoring campaign
Harbours being built-up (top-down):
construction of main waterways, the passing ship and the effect of this flow is being conducted by MARIN.
secondary shipping channel, on the moored ship. When the passing Earlier this year, the first series of full-scale
two barge clocks, final test set-up ship sails under a drift angle, or when the measurements started at ECTs Delta Ter-

74 Ship & Offshore | 2011 | No 6


The velocity field (left) and pressure field (right) near the Comparison of mooring loads: full potential flow approach (DB, blue)
passing ship at 15 degrees drift angle RANS potential flow approach (RANS, black) measurements (red)

minal in Rotterdam. In close cooperation the Maasvlakte, moored ships motions, cations, including a riverside mooring and
with the Port of Rotterdam and the pilots line loads, and metocean conditions were a ship-to-ship offloading site. In phase II
and boatmen, MARINs Trials & Monitor- measured from the moment of arrival to the potential of dynamic berthing systems,
ing team instrumented the mooring lines departure. This first series of measurements in which the mooring is dynamically con-
with load cells and installed a motion spanned six ships being passed by more trolled from shore, will be investigated and
sensor set on each vessel calling into the than 30 vessels, ranging from feeders to the a control algorithm for such systems will
terminal around the clock for a period very largest container carriers. While analy- be developed.
of two weeks. While building a database sis continues, the ROPES monitoring cam-
of passing vessels in the busy harbour of paign will continue at three more jetty lo- This article was first published in MARINs report

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Ship & Offshore | 2011 | No 6 75