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CFD Calculations of the Vortex-Induced Motions of a Circular-Column Semi-Submersible

[+] Author Affiliations
Guilherme Feitosa Rosetti, Rodolfo Gonçalves, André Luís Condino Fujarra

University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Arjen Koop

MARIN, Wageningen, Netherlands

Paper No. OMAE2016-54987, pp. V002T08A064; 16 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


The vortex-induced motions (VIM) of offshore platforms stand as an intriguing and challenging engineering problem, drawing attention from industry, universities and research institutes. Field observations, model tests and calculations have extensively showed that the complex fluid-structure interaction can result in appreciable motions and increased fatigue of mooring and risers. It is thus a very relevant issue from the engineering standpoint. A large volume of experimental research has been carried out, mainly to verify designs and characterize the occurrence of VIM. Conversely, the numerical investigations applying CFD tools have shown to be a more flexible approach enabling better understanding of the physics at play due to the possibility of investigating the effects of different parameters upon the vortex induced motions of floating platforms. Moreover, the CFD calculations enable investigation of the full-scale behavior of the platforms under VIM, a very controversial issue presently. Bearing upon these issues, the VIM Joint Industry Project aims at increasing physical insight of this phenomenon by means of investigating the influence of geometric design variations, flow conditions and scale effects with the objective of improving practical knowledge that can be applied in the design stage of floating platforms. In this paper, we present some of the CFD studies, results and observations carried out within the JIP, regarding the VIM of a semi-submersible with circular columns in 0 and 45 degrees and over a wide range of reduced velocities. It is confirmed that the 0 degree incidence results in larger motions than the 45 degrees-incidence case, in contrast to the VIM behavior of a semi-submersible with square columns. The tests campaign carried out at the University of São Paulo for the same platform agree with these results. Within the lock-in range, the frequency synchronization of the lift forces on columns and pontoons cause large net transverse forces. Appreciable sway motions thus result. For larger reduced velocities, synchronization of the flow around the columns cease, but the forces on the pontoons then largely contribute to the total force. In this high-reduced velocity range, the phasing between total force and motion is such that energy transfer from the fluid to the body occurs, causing the amplification of the motions.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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