Before the background of the International Maritime Organization’s 2050 emission reduction targets, the largest sailing ship in the world is currently being developed in Sweden This wind powered car carrier, called Oceanbird, will have four 80-metre-high wing sails targeting CO2 savings in the order of 90%.

The prediction and analysis of the seakeeping performance of such a ship is of importance, not only in terms of sailing dynamics, but also when it comes to the structural design of the rig.

To this end, a numerical method for predicting a ship’s motions and loads in its rigid wing sails is described in this paper and a demonstration of how the method can be used to obtain such loads is presented.

The numerical method is based on an unsteady 3D fully nonlinear potential flow hydrodynamic model coupled with a hybrid 2D RANS/3D lifting-line aerodynamic model. Simulations in a seaway with short-crested irregular waves and corresponding wind conditions are conducted, resulting in time histories of the aerodynamic and inertial forces acting on the rig.

Possible applications of the method include fatigue analysis of the wing sails, where the accumulated fatigue damage over the lifespan of the rig structure depends on the sum of aerodynamic forces and motion induced inertial forces. Other potential applications include sail dynamics, parametric roll, sheeting strategies and appendage configuration studies.

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