Case Studies

Using hydrodynamic modeling to improve power and performance

The Challenge

The customer was designing a new underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which had to be capable of precise movements in cluttered environments with limited visibility and high currents. High power was necessary but the motor size and weight had to be minimized. This meant an accurate understanding of the drag of the ROV and its maneuvering power requirements, in all scenarios, was critically important.

hydrodynamic modeling - digital engineering

The Solution

Element Digital Engineering proposed and built a hydrodynamic model of the ROV using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). This enabled the drag figures in the primary axes at different speeds to be quickly established. Rotational drag in all three axes was a greater challenge. However, once calculated using sliding meshes, the turning drag could also be calculated by generating a six-degree-of-freedom solid model, incorporating the moments of inertia.

The Result

The modeling work provided a comprehensive set of data on powering requirements across the required speed and maneuver range required. It also demonstrated that the design performance could be achieved with the available motors. The ROV is now successfully in service.

hydrodynamic modeling - digital engineering

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