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Investigating Hull Resistance of a Ropax Ferry in the Cloud

Meet the Team

  • End User – Ioannis Andreou, Intern at SimFWD, Master Student in ENSTA-Bretagne.
  • Team Expert – Vassilios Zagkas, SimFWD Engineering Services, Athens, Greece.
  • Software Provider – Aji Purwanto, Business Development Director, NUMECA International S.A.
  • Resource Provider – Richard Metzler, Software Engineer, CPU 24/7 GmbH.
  • Technology Experts – Hilal Zitouni Korkut and Fethican Coskuner, UberCloud Inc.

SimFWD is a research, development, and application company, providing engineering services in the transport and construction industries. The company focuses on computer-aided engineering technologies such as CFD and FEM applied to Ship Design. SimFWD can provide turnkey solutions to complicated generic problems in a cost-effective manner, eliminating the overheads normally associated with a dedicated engineering analysis group or department. SimFWD aims at helping customers develop product designs and processes by supplying them with customized engineering analysis and software solutions,

Ioannis Andreou is currently finalizing his internship at SimFWD for his studies at ENSTA-Bretagne University and his Master of Research in Advanced Hydrodynamics. The main task of his internship was to develop further the company’s series of Ropax hull forms. SimFWD has been developing modular Ropax designs to address a range of ship sizes for various operational needs. The first part of the project is the validation of a fully parametric Ropax hull form for the range of 120-140m.

User Case

Objective 1: to calculate the calm water resistance of a modern Ropax hull form (140m overall length). The hull form is part of SimFWD’s series of Ropax hulls specifically designed to combine low environmental footprint with enhanced safety standards. Listed below are the main dimensions:

  • L.O.A.: 140.00 (m)
  • Breadth: 23.00 (m)
  • Service Speed: 26.00 (kn)
  • Draught: 5.700 (m)
  • Block Coefficient (T=5.70): 0.57

Objective 2: for the intern engineer at SimFWD to get familiar with the use of FINE™/Marine in an UberCloud application software container and compare the cost-benefit to in-house resources currently in use. The benchmark was analyzed on the bare-metal cloud solution offered by CPU 24/7 and UberCloud. All simulations were run using version 5.1 of NUMECA’s FINE™/Marine software. SimFWD has carried out the set-up of the FINE™/Marine model and simulation parameters, with the goal to generate an initial Power Curve in a short time as well as retrieving the effect of small changes on the ship’s bulb design.

Challenges and Benefits

This case study was completed without facing any difficulties whatsoever. The entire process right from the access to files in the UberCloud container, running the jobs in the CPU 24/7 cloud, up to the retrieval of results to a local workstation was very convenient and without any delays. The user-friendliness of the interface was a major advantage!

Simulation Process and Results

Computations on the hull form were performed for 4 different speeds – 20kts, 22kts, 24kts and 26kts. All computations were performed using a fluid domain consisting of approximately 1.8 million cells except for a speed of 22kts, where a finer mesh containing approximately 2.5 million cells was additionally computed.

Figure. 1 Automatic Mesh Set-Up through C-Wizard Shown

Figure. 2 Travelling shot at 26knots: Wetted Surface 1919.96 m²

Figure. 3 Wave Elevation along hull length X

Figure. 4 Streamlines colored by the relative velocity

Hull Pressure Effects 

The bow hull pressure has a normal distribution over the most affected regions, bow front, and stem near the waterline entrance.

Figure. 5 Overall Hull Pressure

Figure. 6 Flow streamlines on the hull

Following are some details regarding the simulation setup:

  • Number of time steps: 1500
  • Number of non-linear iterations: 5

UberCloud has provided a 16-core container, the average computation time on 16-cores for each speed was approximately 4hours, however most of the computations at lower speeds converged faster. This proved that FINE™/Marine is also efficient from a scalability point of view.

As a next step we utilized the parametric geometry model to make small feasible changes on the Bulbous Bow shape in order to assess the performance effect on the ship’s most prominent operational speed throughout the year at around 22 knots. Below is a comparison of wave elevation on the front area after altering the bulb design. At the left side of Figure 7 is the case of the revised bulb and on the right for the standard case, and we see that the results are almost the same, except for the revised bulb case where the waves that are presented on the mass fraction are smoother. A small change in the bulb shape and the corresponding volume presents a decrease of almost 5% for the operational speed of 22 knots while the decrease for the higher speeds is marginal.

Figure. 7 Wave Elevation Comparison after Bulb alternation

Figure. 8 Wave Elevation Comparison at 22Knots View from Below 


The range of computations converged well for all speeds and the overall result was deemed as a reliable prediction for the range of bare hull resistance also compared to empirical results and similar designs. This allows the user to set the boundaries on their Initial design process and work towards the next steps with exploring hull modifications by formal or even automated optimization processes. Results have also given valuable insight into the available margins to optimize wave resistance at the bow and streamlines in the after part.

  • We showed that the CPU 24/7 HPC bare-metal cloud solution provides performance advantages for NUMECA FINE™/Marine users who want to obtain higher throughput or analyze larger, more complex models.
  • FINE™/Marine provides a proven highly dedicated tool for naval architects especially with its CWizard, embedded automated full-hex OMNIS™/Hexpress mesh generator, easiness-to-use, performance, and accuracy, reducing the engineering and development time and cost. · CPU 24/7 and UberCloud effectively eliminate the need to maintain in-house HPC expertise.
  • The container approach provides immediate access to high-performance clusters and application software without software or hardware setup delays.
  • The browser-based user interface is simple, robust, and responsive.


UberCloud Application Containers for NUMECA FINE™/Marine UberCloud Containers are ready-to-execute packages of software. These packages are designed to deliver the tools that an engineer needs to complete the task at hand. In this cloud experiment, the FINE™/Marine software has been pre-installed, configured, and tested, in a container running on CPU 24/7 bare metal servers, without loss of performance. The software was ready to execute literally in an instant with no need to install software, deal with complex OS commands, or configure. UberCloud Containers allow a wide variety and selection of resources for the engineers because the containers are portable from workstation to the server to Cloud. The Cloud operators or IT departments no longer need to limit the variety, since they no longer have to install, tune and maintain the underlying software. They can rely on the UberCloud Containers to cut through this complexity. This technology also provides hardware abstraction, where the container is not tightly coupled with the hardware. Abstraction between the hardware and software stacks provides the ease of use and agility that bare-metal environments usually lack.

Case Study Authors: Vassilios Zagkas and Ioannis Andreou


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