In 2017, Morska Stocznia Remontowa Gryfia (Marine Shiprepair Yard Gryfia) entered a project for the Regional Water Management Board in Gdansk. The objective of the first phase of the project was to provide the designs for two types of icebreaker vessels. Since the project was carried out following the provisions on public procurement and because it was largely financed from EU funds, the contractor had to demonstrate appropriate facilities as well as personnel and competence references. These high expectations were met by NED-Project, which elected prof. Andrzej Lerch to be the chief designer.
One of our main focuses is the development of our employees' competences and as one of the few companies, NED-Project allows team members to participate in unique projects from the initial concept stage to their completion. It was no different in this case. The roles of supporting designers for prof. Lerch were given to Przemysław Rduch and Jacek Jażdżejewski, being responsible for the design of the front icebreaker and the linear icebreaker respectively. Both designers had previously developed their competences on the HLV Albatross project.
COOPERATION, RESEARCH AND PURSUIT OF BETTER SOLUTIONS
The first task was to create the hull shapes in a way that benefits the ships' buoyancy and improves performance in icy conditions, given the units' limited dimensions and draught. The whole process began with conversations with experienced icebreaker crews, which were a significant source of information on the operational side. Consultations were carried out at the Ship Technology Center (Centrum Techniki Okrętowej - CTO) during the design phase. Valuable comments from each of the parties contributed to several iterations of the shapes of both units. After appropriate optimization, CTO made wooden models of both units and performed research on the model pool, which included standard resistance, propulsion and maneuvering tests. A vital part of the design and research process was ice tests, which were carried out at HSVA in Hamburg. The ice tests included both the basic task which is breaking the ice sheet when sailing straight, as well as driving into ice jams and attempting to turn back in the ice. In the opinion of the testers, both ships coped well with these challenges. The tests confirmed our assumptions about the hull shapes' designs and became a valuable source of information about possible further improvements. After drawing appropriate conclusions, the designers made revisions to the project that later proved to have a considerable impact during the operation of the units. These were for example:
- Improved ice flow around hull to reduce the amount of ice entering the propeller.
- Refined shape of the stern which eliminates the aeration of the propeller. The positive result was reflected in afterward model tests, which showed a rise in wake coefficient (meaning that more water reaches the propeller at higher speed) and thus confirming the increase of the bollard pull.
THE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES IN SHIP DESIGN
One of the other essential tasks was to ensure adequate visibility from the wheelhouse both to the bow and stern. This is where the newest technologies prove to be useful. Our specialists implemented Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to provide testers with a nearly hands-on experience of being in the wheelhouse so that such aspects as visibility could be thoroughly assessed and improved. The use of modern solutions such as VR is not novel for the NED-Project team - it is a part of our everyday work. The final step and a confirmation of the quality of NED-Project's work was the approval of the project by the Polish Register of Shipping.
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