Validation Testing at Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerospace at Southampton University


 A test programme was designed collaboratively across the B9 FLAGSHIP network by collective development of a Risk Register.
This risk analysis informed the structure of the wind tunnel and towing tank tests to evaluate the fundamental performance parameters of a modern, but still sub optimised, sailing ship and to test the outcomes against similar sized vessels operating on comparable routes to develop a robust economic analyses of a B9 Ship’s economic and technical performance.
The evidence from this test shows that a B9 Ship will reduce fuel use by 50% against similar ships on same route.


To achieve best possible sailing performance optimising interaction between hull and rig is key. The rig must generate sufficient power overcome the resistance of the hull whilst simultaneously the hull is providing ‘grip’ in the water to stop the hull slipping sideways caused by the force from the sail.
WUMTIA Work Programme
The inputs from both the wind tunnel and the towing tank are used within a Velocity Prediction Programme (VPP) to estimate the overall sailing performance of the B9 Ship.
The multiple variations of masts and sail configurations were tested and meticulously recorded across the range of wind speeds and directions to evaluate the overall performance of the rig.
Wind Tunnel Testing
In the towing tank the effect of waves and currents and the impact on the overall performance of the hull at different heeling angles were monitored and recorded for analysis.
Tow Tank Testing
The two sets of data were evaluated in the velocity prediction programme (VPP) which gave reasonably good estimates of B9 Ships’ performance in a wide range of different sea and weather conditions.
Outputs derived from the VPP were used to evaluate B9 Ships’ potential on routes of interest to potential customers and users.
Using Met Office data simulating 105,000 journeys in total over a 12 year period (to capture aleatory and seasonal variability) on those specified case study routes there was an estimated fuel consumption of 46 - 55% less than an equivalent conventional ship on the same route.


Met Office Route Analysis

Route Analysis for a B9 Shipby Met Office
Improved fidelity on all aspects of the test are achieved going forward as the design is optimised. The Validation Test was desgned to evaluate the vessel’s overall sailing performance to give comfort to collaborators and potential customers that B9 Ships offer significant operational benefits. Participants are satisfied and there is sufficient confidence to proceed.


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