Marine performance and evaluation services

An offshore platform is evaluated in the Offshore Engineering Basin

An offshore platform is evaluated in the Offshore Engineering Basin.

NRC has the capacity to determine the performance of ships and offshore structures in harsh ocean conditions. Reliable performance evaluation has commercial value to all industry sectors, and is essential to the preservation of life and protection of the marine environment. Continued concern for energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions also drive the demand for efficient systems

NRC pursues a range of research projects in performance evaluation through partnerships with Canadian companies and public sector agencies. Our long-range objectives include developing competencies in the assessment of ocean energy devices, providing state-of-the-art wave modelling in our Offshore Engineering Basin, and developing a mathematical model of turbulence stimulations. We are also assisting the Canadian Navy in defining operational envelopes for its vessels, and helping to develop an advanced marine control system that reduces fuel consumption. Other current projects in performance evaluation include:

Ocean energy technologies

NRC provides Canadian developers of ocean energy devices with the performance evaluation tools required to test and refine their concepts. These tools include numerical simulation, physical modelling and field trials. NRC works with industry to investigate new technologies for renewable energy, and advises government and regulatory bodies on their ocean energy activities. We are also an advocate for a concerted, national effort towards the development of this alternative energy source.

Wave and turbulence modeling

NRC has an ongoing project to study and improve the generation and propagation of second order, shallow water waves in our Offshore Engineering Basin. We are also pursuing the numerical and experimental modelling of wave reflection by current in the basin. As well, our researchers are developing and validating a mathematical model of turbulence stimulation, utilizing NRC’s Cavitation Tunnel.

Optimal fuel control

Skyrocketing increases in fuel costs, combined with the need to reduce emissions, are forcing the marine transportation industry to find new ways to reduce consumption. Recent work carried out by NRC has indicated the important role that a vessel's control system (the autopilot) plays in ride comfort, safety and, most importantly, fuel efficiency. A poorly designed autopilot system can induce roll (limiting operations), raise maintenance costs, and burn too much fuel. The goal of this project is to establish how widespread the problem is by analyzing data from a variety of vessel types. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Rutter Technology Inc., which has voyage data recording equipment on more than 2500 vessels worldwide. This data will be used to analyze ship and fleet performance and, if warranted, the project scope will be amended to include the development of a vessel control system that is optimal in terms of vessel motion, safety and fuel consumption.

Submarine seakeeping

This surface operations evaluation involves the design, fabrication, outfitting and testing of a 1:15 scale free-running model of the Canadian Victoria-class submarine. Researchers are measuring and recording model motions, position, speed, relative motions, water and wave elevation, and propeller revolutions, in both regular and irregular wave conditions. The long-term objective is to improve the safety of submarine operations, while in the short term helping to define the performance envelope while surfaced. NRC conducts a wide range of evaluations for the Department of National Defence, from the hydrodynamics of navy divers to frigate fuel consumption.

Submarine models

Submarine models

Experiments involving a high speed hull form

Experiments involving a high speed hull form

Ship-model correlation

NRC maintains its reputation for worldclass research by continually upgrading and evaluating the critical tools used in the simulation of full-scale marine vehicles. Using data collected from field trials and model experiments, researchers are demonstrating that the NRC Planar Motion Mechanism can be used to acquire data to accurately simulate ship manoeuvres. Wake survey experiments are also being carried out to demonstrate that data acquired using new pressure sensors compare favourably to data from previous experiments on the same model.

Seaplane float analysis

NRC is assisting a Canadian manufacturer in the performance evaluation of a new design of float for use on small aircraft. The new floats explore the potential of a multi-step design to reduce take-off distances and improve performance in rough water by reducing the sensitivity to pitch of the float. Two design options are being studied, with measurement of upward force and pitch and roll moments, along with basic resistance measurement. At a scale of 1:5, our researchers can test performance up to approximately 40 knots. The results will provide the manufacturer with an advantage in an internationally competitive industry.