LONGITUDINAL MOTION DUE TO ACTION OF TUNNEL THRUSTERS
Tunnel thrusters are propulsion and active control devises that provide a side force, or transverse thrust, to support mooring operations or position keeping. They shorten the time of manoeuvring, reduce the cost of towage and since inception, manoeuvrability specifically in ports has become a lot easier. Tunnel thrusters can either be operated manually or with the help of Dynamic Positioning systems which makes it even more efficient. Theoretically, the transverse force due to tunnel thruster action should generate only lateral and rotational motion. Therefore, it is typical and a common practice during manoeuvring simulations that the longitudinal motion due to the action of tunnel thrusters is neglected. Nevertheless, the experience of masters and pilots shows that some longitudinal motion due to the action of tunnel thrusters appears. This paper shows some examples of turning manoeuvres carried out with bow thrusters only, i.e. no additional control devices or tug assistance have been used. The manoeuvres have been carried with minimal possible initial longitudinal nor lateral speed. Model tests have been done with the use of large manned models of VLCS, PCTC and LNG carrier, which differ in hull shape, dimensions and shape coefficients. Results obtained from the tests confirm that the motion caused by bow thruster besides rotational and lateral motion consists additionally of longitudinal motion. Analysis of the combination of motions due to the action of tunnel thrusters have been done and some rationale for this phenomenon has been presented. Additionally a short analysis of position of pivot point during tunnel thruster test has been carried out.
Keywords:VLCS, PCTC, LNG carrier, manned models, free running model tests
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