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New Wärtsilä tool aids DP propulsion configuration

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Wärtsilä has introduced its latest development based on applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to enable accurate and speedy configuration of thrusters and other propulsion systems, to deliver the optimal dynamic positioning solution.  The new Wärtsilä OPTI-DP Engagement Tool, which has been verified by DNV Maritime has been developed in response to the increasing need for efficient high-performance station keeping and manoeuvrability as offshore operations become more complex.

Conventional methods for assessing accurate DP capability calculations have become increasingly challenging as offshore operations move further from shore, and the vessels serving them become larger and more complex. OPTI-DP allows the simulation of environmental operating conditions, with independent wind, wave and current directions, if desired, plus 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, and utilises CFD results to deliver an accurate analysis.

Any negative impact from interaction between the thrusters, other propulsion systems and, for example, jack-up legs can be minimised. 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-utilisation polar plots for given environmental conditions or maximum acceptable wind speed plots.

“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 analysing the station-keeping capability of a vessel in DP operations based on the static balance of environmental forces and the vessel’s actuator forces,” said Luca Pivano, Principal Specialist DP Simulations, Control Systems and Cybernetics Advisory at 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 optimised propulsion configuration based on thrust performance, we can now accurately predict the station keeping capability of a vessel, which allows for maximum utilisation of the vessel operating in challenging weather conditions,” said Lauri Tiainen, Director, Thrusters & Propulsion Control Systems, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

The solution allows the implementation of azimuth thrusters, 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.

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