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P14-10 Sloshing of Liquefied Natural Gas (SLING)

The Dutch government has a vision to reduce gas emissions that affect the environment and health. Switching to LNG as a fuel can reduce CO2 by 10% to 20%, and significantly improve the air quality by reducing PM and NOx . The market to use LNG as fuel is in its development phase. Huge investments are needed by LNG suppliers in the required infrastructures (LNG stations, feeders, bunker barges), and by end users (ship and truck owners) in new technologies to run on LNG. LNG prices at fuel stations need to be low enough for end users to switch fuel, and high enough for suppliers to invest.
The business case can be improved by reducing the infrastructure costs. SLING focuses on the reduction of the investment and the operational costs for LNG feeders and bunker barges by an optimal design of LNG cargo tanks.
LNG is stored onboard a ship at a temperature just below its boiling point (ca. -162°C) at near atmospheric pressure. Special insulated cargo tanks are required to minimize the heat transfer, protecting the steel structure of the ship and limiting the evaporation of LNG (boil-off). LNG will slosh inside the tank exerting impact loads on the cargo tank when the tank is partially filled and exposed to ship motions. By applying membrane cargo tanks for feeders or bunker barges, as used in the large scale LNG chain, maximum use of available space can be achieved, resulting in compacter ships or increased capacity. This reduces the investment costs . As sloshing loads are expected to be smaller for small scale LNG, a new balance between strength of tank insulation and its thermal efficiency could be obtained leading to a reduction of the operational costs.
Such an optimisation requires a clearer understanding of the sloshing physics, as the existing design methodology shows to be overly conservative but not always entirely representing reality. The challenge with sloshing is that it involves a liquid, a vapour and a structure that interact at different length and time scales. SLING will research the multiphase physics and draw-up the basis for a representative design methodology, through four interconnected projects which are named: (1) Liquid, (2) Vapour, (3) Structure, and (4) Interaction. The projects will be realised using an innovative test set-up, advanced measurements, and numerical modelling. SLING calls for multidisciplinary research in cooperation with research institutes and the industry in the field of fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, multiphase dynamics, experimental engineering and numerical computations.

Initiatiefnemer(s) 
Prof. dr. ir. M.L. Kaminski, Delft University of Technology - Ship and Offshore Structures; Prof. dr. ir. J. Westerweel, Delft University of Technology - Process & Energy; Prof. dr. ir. R.W.C.P. Verstappen, University of Groningen - Institute of Mathematics and Computing Science; Prof. dr. ir. B. Koren, Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; Prof. dr. D. Lohse, University of Twente - Physics of Fluids, ir. H. Bogaert, MARIN
Topsector 1 
Energie
Roadmap/ Innovatieagenda (indien van toepassing) 
Gas
Openbare bijeenkomst (optioneel) 
20 november 2014 - 1:00pm
TU Delft, Building 34, Room B-1-210
Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft
Contactpersoon 
Prof. dr. ir. Miroslaw (Mirek) Lech Kaminski, Full Professor of Ship and Offshore Structures
TU Delft, Maritime and Transport Technology, Building 34, Room B-1-330, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft, The Netherlands, +31 15 27 89250, +31 61 99 35268, m.l.kaminski@tudelft.nl