At any marine conference or workshop, you will hear many topics being debated: validation and accuracy of CFD predictions, best practices in simulation, the latest industry regulations affecting ship design and many more. One topic that always gets engineers talking and arguing is whether to run your CFD simulations at model scale or full ship scale. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.

Running at model scale means the result can be easily validated by comparison with towing tank data before running new analyses. The model scale results can then be transformed to full-scale data using standard semi-empirical scaling up procedures. However, this approach can introduce uncertainties as the scaling methods may not be suitable for new or unusual geometries or running conditions. This is one of the reasons why ship designers are reluctant to change anything in their designs for which they have collected operational data and know the performance. Running CFD simulation at full-scale may require a higher grid resolution to accurately capture aft end flow especially when appendages are present, but removes the possible errors from the semi-empirical scaling methods.

Software development is sometimes similar to raising a child. After the excitement of a new arrival with tentative steps and the promise of great things in the future, it develops into a moody teenager, usually working well but prone to tantrums. The final stage for both children and software is a graduation to a responsible adult, working well, providing benefits, and giving great results.

Has EHP finally taken the last step and matured? Has the prodigy child finally turned into a responsible adult? Ever since its inception and first tentative steps in the market as an add-on, we at Siemens PLM and our clients have had to live with its tantrums and acts of genuine helpfulness. The teenage years were particularly difficult, not wanting to move on from version 9.06 while its big brother STAR-CCM+® went seamlessly through its three releases per year gears.

It could be argued that tradition and science are poles apart; while one is based on beliefs and long-established customs, the other is firmly grounded in rigorous research and methodology. Yet traditionally, they’ve both found their place in engineering. But as technology continues to advance where traditional methods falter, aren’t we better off just focusing on science?

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