- Solar boat,
- Computational fluid dynamics,
- senior design,
For many years Cedarville University’s Solar Boat team has been designing and creating boat hulls. One of the key elements in designing a hull is to decrease the amount of drag or resistance the boat has when moving through the water. Previous mechanical engineering seniors at Cedarville University have attempted to use computational fluid dynamics or CFD to predict the drag on the Solar Boat hull with software called Fluent produced by Ansys. However, they have been unsuccessful due to the complexity when trying to model two phases of flow, e.g. air and water. The project however, was successful in predicting the hull drag of our current Solar Boat design using Fluent. To approach this problem I first needed to create a model of the boat in another program also produced by Ansys called ICEM. This software allowed me to import the 3D model of the Solar Boat from SolidWorks 2013 and create a mesh around it. This mesh is crucial for Fluent to simulate the fluid flow of both the air and water as it interacts with the Solar Boat. Using a two phase volume of fluid, VOF, and k-omega viscous model I was able to reproduce the fluid flow experienced by the boat in real life conditions. The implications of my work are that future Solar Boat teams will be able to use my CFD work to accurately predict hull drag on the Solar Boat before having to create the actual boat which can be very costly. With a little bit of work and time the Solar Boat team will now be able to design a new hull and predict hull drag to check for improvements. Additional gains have been made in the way of modeling two phase flow in Fluent which will be critical when analyzing hydrofoils which may be used on the Solar Boat in the future.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/timothy_dewhurst/72/