Effects of adverse sea conditions on propulsion and manoeuvring performance of low-powered ocean-going cargo ship

Congbiao Sui, Peter de Vos, Hans Hopman, Klaas Visser, Douwe Stapersma, Yu Ding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Current EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) regulations striving to reduce the installed engine power on new ships for a low EEDI may lead to underpowered ships having insufficient power when operating in adverse sea conditions. In this paper, the operational safety of a low-powered ocean-going cargo ship operating in adverse sea conditions has been investigated using an integrated ship propulsion, manoeuvring and sea state model. The ship propulsion and manoeuvring performance, especially the dynamic engine behaviour, when the ship is sailing in heavy weather and turning into head sea, have been studied. According to the results, the dynamic engine behaviour should be considered when assessing the ship operational safety, as the static engine operating envelope is inadequate for the safety assessment. The impact of PTO/PTI (power-take-off/in) operation and changing propeller pitch on the ship thrust availability in adverse sea conditions have also been investigated. To protect the engine from mechanical and thermal overloading, compressor surge and over-speeding during dynamic ship operations and/or in high sea states, the engine and propeller should be carefully controlled. The paper shows that if in (heavy) adverse weather the propeller pitch can be reduced or if the shaft generator can work as a motor (PTI), more thrust can be developed which can significantly improve the operational safety of the ship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111348
Number of pages23
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Adverse sea
  • Engine dynamic performance
  • Low-powered ship
  • Minimum propulsion power
  • Ship operational safety


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