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Trends in Computational Fluid Dynamics for Competitive Sailing Yachts

This paper describes trends in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) techniques for simulation-based design and simulation-based operation.

The general trends are illustrated by applications from NUMECA’s experience with competitive sailing yachts. Trends include automated work processes, adaptive schemes, systematic parameter variations (in concept exploration and optimization), high-performance computing, hybrid computational strategies for faster response times, multi-phase flows, multi-physics analyses (most notably for fluid-structure interaction), and advanced turbulence models. The progress in CFD capabilities has already led to abandoning model tests altogether for America’s Cup yachts. It is reasonable to expect that we will see a similar fading out of model tests for ship design for other ship types.

The improvements in computing power have allowed using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) to simulate ship hydrodynamic performance more accurately and faster than ever before. The industry’s ability to handle complex geometries with all relevant details has also greatly improved. Many aspects have advanced and continue to advance the wide acceptance of CFD as a design and optimization tool.

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Posted by Benoit Mallol

Benoit holds a master's degree in Mechanical and Numerical modeling from the University of Bordeaux (France) with a specialization in CFD dedicated to free surface flows. For more than 10 years, he has been working on unstructured meshing strategies and marine applications. As head of the marine group and head of the unstructured meshing group, Benoit drives the product roadmaps, acts as the CFD technical expert to support all our offices around the world and makes sure that the software remains the reference on the different markets.

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