Stena Elektra

Research on dynamic design of ships

Merchant vessels are getting bigger and bigger, but what if their weight and the amount of steel required to build them could be reduced? It may be possible to optimise the design to reduce the weight and quantity of steel and thereby lower the cost of building and operating the ship. This will make transports more energy efficient and reduce the environmental impact on the sea, and might also lead to reduced costs for the shipowners when building the ship. More research is needed to ensure that lighter hulls satisfy requirements in terms of strength, sea characteristics, environmental requirements and maritime safety. 

According to a pre-study conducted in 2016, dimensional regulations do not fully take into account the interaction between wave loads and the ship’s dynamic response. There is uncertainty as to whether the safety margins are sufficient or unnecessarily conservative, which may lead to vessels being oversized and having a higher energy consumption and environmental impact.

SSPA together with Chalmers University of Technology, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Stena Teknik has been conducting joint research on methods of dynamic ship dimensioning and the understanding of dynamic loads on ships since March 2017.

During this project, a vessel model has been manufactured that is equipped to measure structural loads. Model wave tests will also be performed, and numerical calculations will be validated against the model wave tests. Stena’s concept vessel Stena Elektra has been chosen as a model vessel. The project will be completed at the end of 2018.