Academic series: Implementation of a Fluid-Structure Interaction Solver for a Spinnaker Sail

Anna Ramolini from Delft University used NUMECA software to study an FSI model on a Spinnaker sail.

She used HEXPRESS™ for constructing a full hexahedral mesh for the sail. Using the FINE™/Open solver, she simulated the flow around the sail. The ‘flying shape’ of the spinnaker sail, then was simulated with an in-house FEM code, SailFEM, to find out the real shape of the sail under operation thanks to the pressure distribution obtained from FINE™/Open with OpenLabs™. The transmission of the pressure information from the fluid to the structure mesh was done through the nearest neighbor interpolation technique, while the interpolation of the displacement from structure to fluid mesh was performed with radial basis functions.

She demonstrated that the FINE™/Open solver is giving more accurate results compared to some other solvers tested for the sail. The pressure coefficient distribution compared to previous DES model and experimental data provided by the FINE™/Open solver was sufficiently accurate to use in FEM simulations to determine the flying shape of the sail.

 

FSI Procedure and Pressure coefficient comparisons with reference data on a cross-section

 

The aim of the project was not only to be able to reproduce the reference data but also to provide a tool for the sailmakers that allows getting an estimate of the sail thrust under certain wind conditions, in order to help with the sail design process.

We congratulate Anna for her very good master thesis work.


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