JIP to study behavior of large floating offshore structures

Offshore staff

TEDDINGTON, UK -- A three-year joint industry project (JIP) is under way to improve accuracy of wind tunnel measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations.

One aim is to develop standard guidelines to support designers of large-scale offshore floating production systems.

Partners in the Wind Load JIP include BMT Fluid Mechanics, MARIN; TU/e, Eindhoven University of Technology; and DNW, the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels.

Volker Buttgereit, managing director of BMT Fluid Mechanics said: “Traditionally, wind loads or wind flow around large scale offshore marine structures are studied in wind tunnels...

“Guidelines and codes of practice for this type of wind tunnel testing exist and they do reflect the experience and advancement that has been made in the field.  However, in spite of this, there is a certain amount of variability between results derived from the various wind tunnel testing laboratories situated in different parts of the world… 

“With continuous advancement of computational speed, there is also a growing interest in the application of CFD which can predict the impact complex wind flows can have on large scale, offshore floating production, and help deliver design efficiencies and safety of operations. Correlating CFD predictions with those derived from model scale wind tunnel testing can be a challenge in its own right and does require further investment in research and development.”

Floating production systems continue to grow in size and complexity. This complicates, offshore operations with numerous vessels acting in close proximity to each other.  The potential “impact” is neither well understood, nor well treated through available engineering methodology, BMT claims.

Volker concludes: “Developing advancement and most importantly, communality in the methodology that combines reliable testing and simulation based prediction of 3D wind fields and forces acting on large scale offshore vessels and floating production systems is key.  Such an approach will provide operators and designers of these structures with the opportunity to drive forward these designs with ever increasing reliability and efficiency.”

7/30/2013

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