Towards a realistic estimation of the powering performance of a ship with a gate rudder system

Sasaki, Noriyuki and Kuribayashi, S. and Fukazawa, M. and Atlar, Mehmet (2020) Towards a realistic estimation of the powering performance of a ship with a gate rudder system. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 8 (1). 43. ISSN 2077-1312 (

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This paper presents an investigation on the scale effects associated with the powering performance of a Gate Rudder System (GRS) which was recently introduced as a novel energy-saving propulsion and maneuvring device. This new system was applied for the first time on a 2400 GT domestic container ship, and full-scale sea trials were conducted successfully in Japan, in 2017. The trials confirmed the superior powering and maneuvring performance of this novel system. However, a significant discrepancy was also noticed between the model test-based performance predictions and the full-scale measurements. The discrepancy was in the power-speed data and also in the maneuvring test data when these data were compared with the data of her sister container ship which was equipped with a conventional flap rudder. Twelve months after the delivery of the vessel with the gate rudder system, the voyage data revealed a surprisingly more significant difference in the powering performance based on the voyage data. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to take a further step towards an improved estimation of the powering performance of ships with a GRS with a specific emphasis on the scale effect issues associated with a GRS. More specifically, this study investigated the scale effects on the powering performance of a gate rudder system based on the analyses of the data from two tank tests and full-scale trials with the above-mentioned sister ships. The study focused on the corrections for the scale effects, which were believed to be associated with the drag and lift characteristics of the gate rudder blades due to the low Reynolds number experienced in model tests combined with the unique arrangement of this rudder and propulsion system. Based on the appropriate semi-empirical approaches that support model test and full-scale data, this study verified the scale effect phenomenon and presented the associated correction procedure. Also, this study presented an enhanced methodology for the powering performance prediction of a ship driven by a GRS implementing the proposed scale effect correction. The predicted powering performance of the subject container vessel with the GRS presented an excellent agreement with the full-scale trials data justifying the claimed scale effect and associated correction procedure, as well as the proposed enhanced methodology for the practical way of predicting the powering performance of a ship with the GRS.