Coupled Mooring Analysis in Large Scale Model Tests on a Deepwater CALM Buoy in Mild Wave Conditions
Author Bunnik, T.H.J., de Boer, G., Cozijn, J. L., van der Cammen, J., van Haaften, E. and ter Brake E.
Title Coupled Mooring Analysis in Large Scale Model Tests on a Deepwater CALM Buoy in Mild Wave Conditions
Conference/Journal OMAE Conference, Oslo
Paper no. OMAE2002-28056
Year 2002

This paper describes a series of model tests aimed at gaining insight in the tension variations in the export risers and mooring lines of a CALM buoy. The test result were therefore not only analysed carefully, but were also used as input and to validate a numerical tool that computes the coupled motions of the buoy and its mooring system.

The tests were carried out at a model scale of 1 to 20. Captive tests in regular and irregular waves were carried out to investigate non-linearities in the wave forces on the buoy for example from the presence of the skirt. Decay tests were carried out to determine the damping of the buoy's motions and to obtain the natural periods. Finally, tests in irregular waves were carried out.

The dynamics of the mooring system and the resulting damping have a significant effect on the buoy's motions. A numerical tool has been developed that combines the wave-frequency buoy motions with the dynamical behaviour of the mooring system. The motions of the buoy are computed with a linearised equation of motion. The non-linear motions of the mooring system are computed simultaneously and interact with the buoy's motions.

In this paper, a comparison is shown between the measurements and the simulations. Firstly, the wave forces obtained with a linear diffraction computation with a simplified skirt are compared with the measured wave forces. Secondly, the numerical modelling of the mooring system is checked by comparing line tensions when the buoy moves with the motion as measured in an irregular wave test. Thirdly, the decay tests are simulated to investigate the correctness of the applied viscous damping values. Finally, simulations of a test in irregular waves are shown to validate the entire integrated concept.

The results show that:
1. The wave-exciting surge and heave forces can be predicted well with linear diffraction theory. However, differences between the measured and computed pitch moment are found, caused by a simplified modelling of the skirt and the shortcomings of the diffraction model.
2. To predict the tension variations in the mooring lines and risers (and estimate fatigue) it is essential that mooring line dynamics are taken into account.
3. The heave motions of the buoy are predicted well.
4. The surge motions of the buoy are predicted reasonably well.
5. The pitch motions are wrongly predicted.

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