Deltares: Model Tests for Safer Port (The Netherlands)

Model Tests for a Safer Port

Deltares is performing tests in the Atlantic Basin (wave current basin) to study the suction effects of passing ships on ships moored in a port.

The aim of these tests is to make ports safer. Especially in narrow passages, the suction effects of large vessels can lead to large problems: breaking mooring lines, damage to loading and unloading installations and production decrease.

Scale tests are now carried out for different port layouts to test the relationship between water movement and ship movement. The hydrodynamic effects due to passing ships are just as important to port safety as tidal conditions and waves. Especially since container ships keep getting bigger. According to Martijn de Jong, advisor/researcher hydrodynamics at Deltares, safety and pollution risks due to accidents are socially unacceptable.

The model tests form an important part of the three-year research programme JIP ROPES (Joint Industry Project Research On Passing Effects on Ships) that is to be completed in 2013. This research will provide new international insight into and guidelines for safer design and use of existing and new ports.

In addition to the model test, a monitoring campaign will be conducted in the Port of Rotterdam, including a mooring facility for ship-to-ship transfer of mammoth tankers. The data of the model tests and measuring campaign will be used to develop a validated computer model to predict the effects of passing ships on ships moored in a port.

De Jong: “We study the relationship between the water disturbances and ship motions for various port layouts, so that we will know exactly what happens in a dock or when you moor ships one behind the other. Deltares studies the more complex port situations, including the influence of currents, as we have a lot of experience in modelling port layouts. Furthermore, Deltares will map the effects of passing ships using Xbeach, a numerical model to predict near shore waves and currents that can also be applied to harbours.

ROPES is a joint research project in which 25 international parties are working together, including port authorities, pilots, rowers, engineering companies and knowledge institutes.

Press Release, November 21, 2012

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