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Effects on Drillship Resistance of a Large Moonpool Using CFD Simulations With Experimental Validation

[+] Author Affiliations
Lucas do Vale Machado

Keppel FELS, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Antonio Carlos Fernandes

COPPE/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Anis Altaf Hussain

Keppel FELS, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Paper No. OMAE2016-54470, pp. V002T08A055; 13 pages
  • ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: CFD and VIV
  • Busan, South Korea, June 19–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4993-4
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Drillship is a marine vessel designed for drilling purposes of oil and gas wells. This kind of vessel has what is called a moonpool that is an opening on the base of the hull used for drilling operation. Nowadays, in search of better process efficiency, some of these drillships are being constructed with dual-derrick and are in need of a larger moonpool, which results in some effects on the floating structure, such as resistance increase. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of shape and size of the moonpool on the resistance of a drillship dual derrick, while in transit. It presents the application of a commercial CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software as a numerical approach to calculate the flow around a drillship without neglecting free surface effects. Throughout this work, the made assumptions, applied boundary conditions and appropriate mesh density studies are thoroughly discussed. Verification assessment is part of the work. In addition to the numerical study, some experimental tests were done at LOC/UFRJ (Laboratório de Ondas e Correntes – Laboratory of Waves and Currents) to validate the numerical approach. The comparison between simulation results and experiments allows the analysis of the present CFD models benefits and limitations, providing guidelines for similar future studies. The overall match between laboratory and virtual tests results supports the expansion of this procedure to other vessels and offshore floating units. The results of this work clarify the motion inside the moonpool and its effects. Furthermore, it gives the results of several different moonpool profiles that were optimized for this specific hull.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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