Ship performance in ice channels narrower than ship beam: Model test and numerical investigation

Fang Li*, Mikko Suominen, Pentti Kujala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
127 Downloads (Pure)


During escort and convoy operations, an icebreaker opens a channel while the escorted or convoyed ships follow the path along the channel. If the assisted ship is wider than the channel which the icebreaker creates, the created channel cannot fit the assisted ship. Thus, the assisted ship has to break some ice by itself. This is herein referred to as navigation in ‘narrow ice channel’. The performance of ships in narrow ice channel is investigated here. For this aim, model-scale test of a ship going through ice channels with different widths and ice thicknesses is firstly conducted. After that, numerical simulation of the model test scenarios is implemented with an in-house simulation program dedicated for ship operation in ice. The simulation correctly captured the main features of ship resistance change as a function of channel width, which indicates its validity as a simulation tool. Subsequentially, numerical simulations are implemented with several other ships in order to gain general insights into performance of ships in narrow ice channel. Focus is given to the influence of channel width on ships' encountered resistance and attainable speed in ice. The general findings through these simulations are useful for decision making tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109922
Number of pages11
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date5 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Arctic ships
  • H-v curve
  • Level ice
  • Narrow ice channel
  • Ship performance in ice
  • Ship resistance


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