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Case Study

Hydrodynamics – power and performance

Project Lead:
David Fielding
+44 (0)1332 348844

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Our client 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 minimised, so an accurate understanding of the drag of the ROV and its manoeuvring power requirements in all scenarios was critically important.

We built a hydrodynamic model of the ROV using Computational Fluid Dynamics and quickly establish drag figures in the primary axes at different speeds. Rotational drag in all three axes was a greater challenge, but once calculated (using sliding meshes) the turning drag could be calculated by generating a six-degree-of-freedom solid model, incorporating the moments of inertia.
Our work

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

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