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Efficient commuter craft for urban waterborne public transportation

Time: Fri 2021-01-15 10.00

Location: Register in advance for this webinar: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar., Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Vehicle and Maritime Engineering

Doctoral student: Harsha Cheemakurthy , Marina system

Opponent: Dr. Joakim Kalantari,

Supervisor: Karl Garme, Farkost- och flygteknik, Marina system


There has been a recent surge in interest in waterborne public transportation (WPT). Publictransport providers (PTP) are seeing its potential in complementing the existing transportnetwork and alleviating urban traffic congestion and pollution. But the adoption of WPTtoday is challenging due to a series of technical and implementation challenges. Thesechallenges include ferry procurement practices, local legislation and policies andenvironmental factors like winter ice. Several of these challenges can be alleviated if efficientferries can be made accessible off-the-shelf with a low manufacturing time and cost. Thethesis focuses on developing such a ferry concept based on modular design whose overalldimensions are standardized and internal arrangement is customizable towards operationalrequirements, with a focus towards sustainable and safe operations in ice.Starting with the characterization of WPT, ferry routes are broadly classified into three types.These routes are described with an operational requirements framework considering allrelevant stakeholder expectations. Then, overall dimensions of vessels representative ofWPT are deduced. Using these dimensions to standardize the overall dimensions, a modularferry concept is developed as an assembly of modules and submodules. The modules arepresented as standardized units having fixed dimensions and interfaces whose internalarrangements can be tailored to meet operational requirements. Design standardizationlowers costs and manufacturing time while internal customization favours tailoring the ferryconcept. One challenge associated with this for the PTP is the difficulty in choosingappropriate modules among multiple alternatives. This is overcome through thedevelopment of a ranking and selection method which benchmarks competing designs andhelps in decision making.In terms of technical challenges for the developed ferry concept, cities like Stockholmexperience freezing of water bodies during winter months. For reliable year-roundoperations that are safe and sustainable in terms of economy and environment, there is aneed for the development of lightweight and robust ice going hulls. This thesis lays thefoundation for the development of such hulls by studying the prevalent ice data and proposesa probabilistic method for estimating the design ice pressures.One must rely on probabilistic methods since most experimental studies are based on seaice whose mechanical properties are different from freshwater ice, which is typical for WPT.Traditionally, classification society rules like the Finnish Swedish Ice Class Rules are usedfor first year light ice conditions which were developed for the Baltic Sea consideringicebreaker vessels. They work well in ensuring a safe design, but their performance forfreshwater ice, applied to commuter ferries have not been tested. Therefore, a probabilisticapproach is adopted where the unknown parameters are incorporated as random variables.The probabilistic method reduces the hull-ice interaction to a pressure and contact-arearelationship. With arctic datasets that closely match WPT conditions as the parent dataset,the probabilistic method is calibrated with exposure conditions for WPT to give the designpressure-area curve. The different uncertainties arising from operations in ice are studied using a statistical tool and the leading source of uncertainty is attributed to ice-loadprediction methods. This establishes the need for more robust methods for prediction of iceloads so that a lightweight, yet robust hull may be designed which is efficient in terms of fueleconomy and emissions.WPT presents a tremendous opportunity in complementing the existing transport network.With careful design and development of the modular ferry concept and its technicalchallenges, it would be easier for PTPs to adopt WPT globally.

Page responsible:Kerstin Gustafsson
Belongs to: News & Events
Last changed: Jan 05, 2021