At the Madeira River, north of Brazil, a natural phenomenon threatens the integrity and normal operation of an on-site hydroelectric power plant; thus, assemblies of containment structures, called logbooms, are installed across the river in order to protect the power plant installations. A truss-based nonlinear finite element method numerical tool is developed with the objective of designing and analyzing these assemblies. Initially, only the influence of the upstream velocity field is considered, and future modifications to account for the debris are expected. Code and solution verifications show that the tool converges reasonably well; the numerical error is about 0.2% of the theoretical value, and the uncertainty is about the same order: the results agree with analytical solutions from the simple catenary model. Finally, the method is validated by comparing numerical and experimental data; a satisfactory agreement is obtained, ascertaining the accuracy of the method: differences between experimental and numerical results are no higher than 6% and the trend of the tension force as a function of the free stream is followed by the numerical method.

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