Numerical Prediction of the Hydrodynamic Forces on a Post-Panamax Vessel in the Third Set of Panama Locks

In 2007–2008, Flanders Hydraulics Research built a 1/80-scale model of the third set of Panama locks and carried out model tests with a post-Panamax 12,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) container carrier model to assess the navigation behavior in the locks. In this paper, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method was used to predict numerically the hydrodynamic forces acting on the ship model passing through the locks. By solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations in combination with the renormalization group (RNG) k−ε turbulence model, the unsteady viscous flow around the ship was simulated and the hydrodynamic forces on the ship hull were calculated. User-defined functions were compiled to define the ship motion. Grid regeneration was dealt with by using the dynamic mesh method and sliding interface technique. Under the assumption of low ship speed, the influences of free-surface elevation were neglected. The proposed method was validated by comparing the numerical results with the data of model tests. Numerical calculations were performed at different ship speeds, water depths, eccentricities, approach wall configurations, guide wall angles, maneuver types, and bottom level height differences; the numerical results were illustrated to analyze the influence of these factors on the hydrodynamic forces. This study can provide a certain guidance on the lock design and the safe maneuvering of ships navigating in the third set of Panama locks.


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  • Accession Number: 01526097
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 2 2014 3:03PM