The influence of wave drift forces coefficients in the assessment of operational limits of a port

During the MARSIM Conference, organized by International Marine Simulator Forum, held in Halifax (Canada), Siport21 has presented a study about the influence of wave drift forces coefficients in the assessment of operational limits of a port.

Nowadays, Ports and Terminals Operators want to increase access operational limits and for that reason wave limits are increasing to significant wave heights over 3 and 4 meters in exposed approach channels. This increases the difficulty of the manoeuvres and therefore the design requirements of the navigable areas both in vertical and horizontal dimensions.

In view of this situation, the company has carried out several studies in which they assess the influence of wave drift forces for the design of navigable areas in ports or harbours subject to high swell waves. The resources required for the manoeuvres (speeds, rudder angles, engine rpm, …) as well as the area occupied by the vessels during the transit in approach channels are evaluated.

The assessment is based on simultaneous consideration of the vertical and horizontal requirements. Therefore, determining the appropriate wave drift forces coefficients at a specific depth is required, as wave drift forces vary significantly with the under-keel clearance (UKC).

For the development of this project, Siport21 has used the numerical model AQWA (ANSYS) to calculate the wave drift forces of the vessels at different water depths. Results derived from AQWA have been compared with model tests results for validation purposes (KVLCC2 deep water results from CEHIPAR), and therefore assess the applicability of such numerical model to obtain the wave drift forces to be used as input in the manoeuvring models.

The drift forces obtained from the numerical model are later converted to the wave drift coefficients required as input for the manoeuvring models to be used, either fast-time or real-time simulators.

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