Prof. Cheng started the seminar and briefed the audience on the history of Lloyds register. LR is a global charity with £1 Billion turnover and around 250 offices world wide which started as ship classification society. Currently offers a large variety of services such as engineering and business services with interest in research and technology.
Prof.Cheng elaborated on how Modelling of Ship behavior is related to the environment (waves, currents and wind) and how it interacts with the body of the vessel. Therefore, accurate computer models of the environment and its interaction with the vessel is of great importance.
Prof.Cheng explained that CFD models are used in the ship industry to solve various problems such as; simulating the waves and predicting its growth, propagation and height, which is important to accurately predict the loads on the ships. Also, adding the hydro-elasticity of ships and non-linear hydrodynamics are growing areas which are essential to the model, and some research is going twards this direction.
Prof. Cheng added that modelling is essential to the safety of the vessels. Some problems usually require full scale testing such as Sloshing loads which is modeled using CFD. He also showed a video to explain the bending moments, which affects the vessel beams, and how it is essential to accurately model these moments with accurate environment models to be able to predict the fatigue loads.
Prof. Cheng added that modelling is not only used to assure the safety and integrity of Ships, but also used to save costs and increase the operational efficiency, by building computer models which at some point will replace full scale testing (when we reach an acceptable accuracy and computational cost). Some research is also done on the propulsion fuel efficiency using CFD models which helps to save on fuel consumption.
The seminar was concluded with a video on the future of the oil and gas which lies in the Arctic region. Prof.Cheng took us briefly in a journey to the Arctic Oil and gas operations, and showed a video on how the off-loading tankers connects to Arctic floating production buoys. The vessel is required to keep its position while connected to the production hose. This operation is not only challenging due to the harsh environment but also due to the drifting ice plates loads on the body of the tanker. The ice plates pushes away the vessel from the floating buoy which is very dangerous; any leakage of oil could cause a disaster. Therefore the need to build a computer model of these tankers is essential to predict the loads on the vessels. The model will help to choose a suitable DP (Diagonal Positioning) system to keep the ship in the required safe position and overcome the ice plates drifting loads.
Prof. Cheng concluded that Computational modelling is an essential part of the ship industry, and is essential for the future of the Ship industry.