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Detailed Analyses of the Tow Line Behaviour in Single, Double and Triple Towages in Case of Emergency Stop and Catenary

[+] Author Affiliations
A. J. Bos

Research, Development and Innovations at HMC, Almere, The Netherlands

R. Heemskerk

Product Development at HMC, Almere, The Netherlands

Paper No. OMAE2011-50327, pp. 841-848; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Polar and Arctic Sciences and Technology
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4433-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Two phenomena have been studied in order to enhance the contingency plans and improve the safety of towages. 1. For multi tug towages it is important to prepare proper contingency plans for the case that a tug fails and overrun by the tow is a probability, especially the towages of FPSO’s and huge rigs performed by more tugs. A model has been developed to assess the time between the failure and the moment the tow will collide. After thorough research not the stopping distance proved important, but the time it takes for both objects to collide. In case the tug is allowed to be pulled towards the FPSO, the time from engine failure to collision is 380 [s] or 6 minutes 20 seconds. Both objects will collide with a speed difference of 2.28 [m/s]. In case the towline is cut, the time until collision is 1479 [s] , or 24 minutes and 40 seconds. In this case it is very important to cut the towline instantly after the engine failure. Otherwise the tug will gain a negative speed of 1 m/s within 2 minutes, and the distance between the FPSO and the tug will be reduced to 683 [m] already. 2. Grounding of tow lines must be avoided the standard of the catenary approach to assume a hyperbolic shape is investigated and a detailed finite element model approach shows that the standard assumptions are not accurate enough. A numerical approach has been used to calculate the effect of current and loss of tension in the wire. The influence of current along the towing-wire depends on the speed, diameter, length and the angle of the towing-wire in the water. The maximum depth increases when the speed increases or the tension in the wire decreases. In the example the depths are on the safe side for depths below 35[m], but above 35[m] the values are too optimistic when current is involved.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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