Centre for Energy

Sloshing in tanks

Current international regulations that govern the cryogenic transportation of LNG allow tankers to ply at sea with partially filled tanks.

In harsh sea states, sloshing of stored liquids can cause impact loads and damage on the surrounding wall insulation.

By investigating the physics of liquid sloshing in marine tanks and the importance of two-phase and three-dimensional effects during sloshing, we aim to find answers that will allow us to develop ways to improve the storage and transportation of LNG.

Our research uses high-fidelity pressure sensors, thermodynamic instrumentation and new laser-based flow visualisation techniques to study liquid sloshing in a tank situated on a hexapod and assess the influence of various design and operational parameters on sloshing.

Detailed numerical investigation using computation fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques will also be carried out using smoothed particle hydrodynamics and level set methods.

The researchers will study two classes of sloshing flows:

  • thermodynamically stable flows such as air-water flows
  • thermodynamically unstable flows where phase changes can occur.