New Tool for Improved Propulsion Arrangements from Wartsila

Wärtsilä has introduced its latest propulsion arrangement tool based on CFD to deliver the optimal dynamic positioning (DP) solution.

Wärtsilä has introduced its latest development based on applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling. Therefore, enabling the accurate and speedy configuration of propulsion arrangements, to deliver the optimal dynamic positioning (DP) solution. Moreover, the new Wärtsilä OPTI-DP Engagement Tool has been verified by DNV Maritime. Its development addresses the increasing need for efficient high-performance station keeping and maneuverability as offshore operations become more complex. 


So far, conventional methods for assessing accurate DP capability calculations have become increasingly challenging. This is due to the offshore operations moving further from shore and the vessels serving them becoming larger and complex. However, OPTI-DP allows the simulation of environmental operating conditions, with independent wind, wave, and current directions if desired. Additionally, it has the ability to simulate multiple failures. The Wärtsilä solution considers all details of a vessel’s thruster and propulsion performance, including the benefits of the 8-degree tilted thruster solutions. Thus, utilizing CFD results to deliver an accurate analysis. 

Any negative impact from the interaction between the thrusters, other propulsion systems, and, for example, jack-up legs can be minimized. Furthermore, the system can prescribe any number of forbidden zones to indicate unwanted interaction between thrusters. The results of performance evaluations are presented in clear, thrust-utilization polar plots for given environmental conditions or maximum acceptable wind speed plots.

propulsion arrangement
Figure. Hull interaction analysis for 8 degree tilted thruster
Key Features
  • Thruster performance is based on full-scale CFD simulations
  • Environmental forces are 100% in line with DNV-GL L1 methodology
  • Thruster-hull interaction losses in a 360° circumference (other tools use a single constant value)
  • Unlimited number of forbidden zones for thruster interaction and riser interference
  • Early configuration at the design phase to allow integrated design 
  • Accurate DP power requirements to determine power plant requirements
  • Reduces CAPEX and OPEX through vessel efficiency, a higher DP window and optimal equipment selection
  • Quick results – results available in hours or minutes instead of weeks
Views on the System

“The independent DNV verification found that the Wärtsilä OPTI-DP Engagement Tool meets the requirements of the DNV standard ST-0111 Level 1, Level 2, and Level 2-site without thrust ventilation loss impact. These set requirements for analyzing the station-keeping capability of a vessel in DP operations based on the static balance of environmental forces and the vessel’s actuator forces,”

Luca Pivano, Principal Specialist DP Simulations, Control Systems and Cybernetics Advisory, DNV Maritime

“The OPTI-DP Engagement Tool is a valuable breakthrough that will improve the safety and efficiency of vessels that require efficient and safe DP capability. By allowing an optimized propulsion configuration based on thrust performance, we can now accurately predict the station-keeping capability of a vessel, which allows for maximum utilization of the vessel operating in challenging weather conditions,”

Lauri Tiainen, Director, Thrusters & Propulsion Control Systems, Wärtsilä

The solution allows the implementation of azimuth, tunnel thrusters, and propeller-rudder combinations, with results available in hours rather than weeks. The delivered accuracy and efficiency gains are complemented with reduced investment and operational costs.

Source: Wartsila

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