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Application of the computational fluid dynamics solver FLUENT to keels of sailing yachts


These file attachments have been under embargo and were made available to the public after the embargo was lifted on 21 June 2010.

Author: De Baar, J.H.S.
Mentor: Huijsmans, R.H.M. · Keuning, J.A. · Pourquie, M.J.B.M. · Gerritsma, M.I.
Faculty:Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Department:Ship Hydromechanics
Type:Master thesis
Embargo lifted:2010-06-21
Keywords: CFD · sailing · yacht · keel · vof · turbulence · free-surface
Rights: (c) 2010 De Baar, J.H.S.


The keel of a sailing yacht has been shown to constitute a significant part of the overall resistance. Where the details of this effect are not yet fully understood, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis might reveal mechanisms unseen to the experimental eye.

An important step in CFD application is the simulation of a number of validation cases. In the present study I simulate three different validation cases in the commercial CFD solver FLUENT, applying a Reynold's Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) method with a realizable k-epsilon turbulence model and a Volume of Fluid (VOF) free-surface approach. From these three validation cases I obtain five drag coefficients, four of which are within an acceptable range of error of the experimental values.

After this validation, I consider several mechanisms related to keel resistance. Simulations indicate that the keel rudder interaction is Froude scaled and that the keel resistance can be scaled by a form factor method, presumably by means of a flat plate skin friction line.

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