Propulsion Engergy Efficiency Optimization for Ships

HPC-Competence Center

Arctur prides itself in not being just another HPC infrastructure provider, but rather one which always provides personal support even to users which are not so knowledgeable of HPC, so ensuring that every HPC project achieves or even surpasses user expectations. Their motto is “More than just HPC.” As an SME, they understand the issues that other SMEs face when dealing with HPC.

Ruđer Bošković Institute is the largest and most renowned scientific institution in Croatia regarding the fields of natural and technical sciences. Today, the Institute has over 550 scientists and researchers in more than 80 laboratories spread over 11 divisions and 3 centres. The Centre for Informatics and Computing of RBI was involved in twenty FP6, FP7,Horizon2020 and COST projects oriented to distributed computing, HPC, HTC, HProC (High Productive Computing), Heterogeneous computing with GPU and FPGA accelerators, data mining, virtual laboratory/organization, scientific visualization and providing eScience services.


SimFWD is a start-up research, engineering and consultancy company, offering advanced engineering, consulting and software deployment services in the transport and manufacturing industries. The company focuses on computer aided engineering technologies such as FEM, CFD and System Simulations with the aid of state of the art Software. The company focuses on providing design and engineering services to industrial partners from the Maritime, Offshore and Automotive sector.

The Enterprise

BVB is a spin-off company of University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture. It was founded in 2005 with the idea to develop low cost professional engineering software solutions either on top of existing in-house solutions that one already has or based on our Mathematical Modelling Framework CAFE. Our clients are small companies who buy our final products (e.g. BVB CAFE) and big companies using the framework to build their own either in-house solutions or products for market in general.

How HPC makes the difference

Ship design is a complex and iterative process of finding proper dimensions, type and performance of future ship that will satisfy all end user(s) requirements and nature laws at the same time. Nowadays, it is not possible to imagine that such a complex design process can be done without simulations. A ship consists of several systems and each of them can be subject for simulation itself (e.g. navigation, power system, heating, ventilation, air conditioning etc.). In this project we concentrate on improving performance of ship propulsion systems, taking into account interaction between the propeller and hull, by considering not only the hull type but also particular hull designs with all of its appendages, which can influence efficiency of the ship itself. It is important to note that maximum efficiency of modern diesel engines is about 45% and efficiency of propulsion systems is about 50%, which means that only 20% of energy, that comes from fossil fuel, is used to move the ship forward and this leaves designers with a lot of room for improvements. Simulation is the only alternative next to experimental research, which can be used to improve the performance of ship propulsion. Although simulation is far less expensive than basic tests on scaled models or tests on real ship, due to very large mathematical problem it is still not accessible to those who do not have their own High Performance Computing (HPC) since calculation time is measured in days per one calculation and usually hundreds of calculations are needed to exploit at least critical cases. An additional problem is that simulation itself usually requires advanced knowledge not only on the topic, but computer system as well. The result of “Propulsion Energy Efficiency Optimization for Ships” will be a well defined procedure and an appropriate tool to accomplish this complex simulation task on HPC without need for expert knowledge from both computer systems and software used for simulation. In order to make it even more accessible to SMEs, Open-source software will be used whenever possible, thus reducing total run time costs. This system developed and adapted to market will be introduced in use in the Maritime Design SME Cluster, Croatia.