Air lubrication by means of a bottom cavity is a promising method for ship drag reduction. The characteristics of the bottom cavity are sensitive to the flow field around the ship hull and the effect of drag reduction, especially the depth of the bottom cavity. In this study, a ship model experiment of a bulk carrier is conducted in a towing tank using the method of air layer drag reduction (ALDR) with different bottom cavity depths. The shape of the air layer is observed, and the changes in resistance are measured. The model experiments produce results of approximately 20% for the total drag reduction at the ship design speed for a 25-mm cavity continuously supplied with air at Cq = 0.224 in calm water, and the air layer covers the whole cavity when the air flow rate is suitable. In a regular head wave, the air layer is easily broken and reduces the drag reduction rate in short waves, particularly when λ/Lw1 is close to one;however, it still has a good drag reduction effect in the long waves.
China Ocean Engineering
supported by the Ministry of Industry and High Technology Marine Scientific Research Projects (Grant No. 2011530)
the High Performance Marine Technology Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education Open Foundation (Grant No. 2013033102).
Corresponding author:WU Hao,E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.