Panel based hydrodynamic analyses are well suited for transferring seakeeping loads to 3D FEM structural models. However, 3D panel based hydrodynamic analyses are computationally expensive. For monohull ships, methods based on strip theory have been successfully used in industry for many years. They are computationally efficient, and they provide good prediction for motions and hull girder loads. However, many strip theory methods provide only hull girder sectional forces and moments, such as vertical bending moment and vertical shear force, which are difficult to apply to 3D finite element structural models. For the few codes which do output panel pressure, transferring the pressure map from a hydrodynamic model to the corresponding 3D finite element model often results in an unbalanced structural model because of the pressure interpolation discrepancy. To obtain equilibrium of an imbalanced structural model, a common practice is to use the “inertia relief” approach to rebalance the model. However, this type of balancing causes a change in the hull girder load distribution, which in turn could cause inaccuracies in an extreme load analysis (ELA) and a spectral fatigue analysis (SFA). This paper presents a method of applying strip theory based linear seakeeping pressure loads to balance 3D finite element models without using inertia relief. The velocity potential of strip sections is first calculated based on hydrodynamic strip theories. The velocity potential of a finite element panel is obtained from the interpolation of the velocity potential of the strip sections. The potential derivative along x-direction is computed using the approach proposed by Salvesen, Tuck and Faltinsen. The hydrodynamic forces and moments are computed using direct panel pressure integration from the finite element structural panel. For forces and moments which cannot be directly converted from pressure, such as hydrostatic restoring force and diffraction force, element nodal forces are generated using Quadratic Programing. The equations of motions are then formulated based on the finite element wetted panels. The method results in a perfectly balanced structural model.

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