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Experimental Investigation of the Dynamic Behaviour of a Water Intake Riser

[+] Author Affiliations
Guido Kuiper, Andrei Metrikine

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Mike Efthymiou

Shell E&P, Rijswijk, The Netherlands

Paper No. OMAE2007-29401, pp. 479-488; 10 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Special Symposium on Ocean Measurements and Their Influence on Design
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4267-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


This paper considers the dynamic stability of free-hanging water intake risers. Suspended from a barge, these risers convey a great volume of cooling water, which is needed for offshore liquefaction process of natural gas. There is a contradiction between theoretical predictions and experiments for cantilever pipes pumping up water. Reported small-scale experiments did not show any instability, while theory predicts instability beyond a critical fluid velocity. To investigate whether the previous experimental setups did not allow to observe the instability or the pipe aspirating water is unconditionally stable, a new test setup was built which could attain a higher internal fluid velocity than the predicted critical velocities. A cantilever pipe of about 5 m length was partly submerged in water. The experiments clearly showed that the cantilever pipe aspirating water becomes unstable by self-excited oscillatory motion (flutter) beyond a critical velocity of water convection through the pipe. Below this velocity the pipe is stable, whereas above it, the pipe shows a complex motion that consists of two alternating types of motion. The first type is a nearly periodic orbital motion with the amplitude of a few pipe diameters and the second one is a quasi-chaotic motion with very small amplitude. Translating these results to offshore water intake risers, shows that for realistic internal flow velocities the riser might become unstable.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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