According to the present Finnish-Swedish Ice Class Rules (FSICR) the formulas for the required main engine power for tankers led to much bigger main engines than it is needed for the demanded open water speed. Therefore model tests may be performed in order to verify the vessel’s capability to sail with less required power in brash ice channels compared to the calculations. Several model test runs have been performed in order to study the performance of crude oil tankers sailing in brash ice. The tests were performed as towed propulsion tests and the brash ice channel was prepared according to the guidelines set up by the Finnish Maritime Administration (FMA). The channel width was 2 times the beam of the tanker. The model tests were carried out at a speed of 5 knots. For the tests a parental level ice sheet of adequate thickness is prepared according to HSVA’s standard model ice preparation procedure. After a predefined level ice thickness has been reached, the air temperature in the ice tank will be raised. An ice channel with straight edges will be cut into the ice sheet by means of two ice knives. The ice stripe between the two cuts will be manually broken up into relatively small ice pieces using a special ice chisel and if required the brash ice material will be compacted. Typically the brash ice thickness will be measured prior the tests at 9 positions across the channel and every two meter over the entire length of the brash ice channel with a special device, which consists of a measuring rule with a perforated plate mounted under a right angle at the lower end of the rule. As a result of the tests it could be demonstrated that tankers with a capacity of more than 50 000 tons require 50% and even less power compared to calculations using the present FSICR formulas.

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