State of the art CFD capabilities has enabled the accurate prediction of forces and moments on the propeller as well as on the pod-strut body due to small to moderate azimuthing angles. The capability of CFD to predict the hydrodynamics at extreme azimuthing angles is yet to be demonstrated. The aim of this research is to develop a simulation capability to capture most of the dynamics of podded propulsion systems in regular to extreme operating conditions. The numerical methodologies to evaluate the hydrodynamic characteristics of podded propulsors in puller configurations in extremely oblique inflow and highly loaded condition in open water and the associated results are presented in this paper.

A numerical study is carried out to predict the hydrodynamic forces of a podded propulsor unit in various extreme static azimuthing conditions. An unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) solver is used to predict the propulsive performance of the podded propulsor system in puller configuration using both steady and unsteady state solutions. To obtain insight into the reliability and accuracy of the results, grid dependency studies are conducted for a podded propulsor in straight-ahead condition. RANS solver simulation technique is first validated against measurements of a puller podded propulsor in straight ahead condition for multiple loading scenarios. The propeller thrust and torque as well as the forces and moments of the pod unit in the three coordinate directions in straight-ahead condition and at static azimuthing angles in the range of −180° to 180° at advance coefficient of 0.20 are then compared with that of the measurements. Additionally, the velocity and pressure distribution on and around the pod-strut-propeller bodies are presented as derived from the RANS predictions. Analysis demonstrates that the RANS solver can predict the performance coefficients of the podded propulsor in extreme azimuthing and in the highly loaded conditions within the same level of accuracy of the same order of magnitude of the experimental results.

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