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Numerical Prediction of Wave Loads on Subsea Structures in the Splash Zone

AuthorsBunnik, T., Buchner, B.
Conference/JournalThe Fourteenth International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (ISOPE), Toulon, France
Date23 May 2004
Existing simulation methods are not able to determine in detail the wave loads on a complex sub-sea structure when it is passing through the splash zone. To determine these loads, model tests are necessary. Otherwise only simplified formulations or empirical relations for added mass and damping can be used. The improved Volume Of Fluid (iVOF) method presented in this paper is a potential candidate for the better numerical prediction of the behaviour of a sub-sea structure in the splash zone. The simulated flow around and through the structure looks very realistic and shows a strong resemblance with observations from model tests. The quantitative comparison of the vertical load on the sub-sea structure shows that the total load levels are well predicted. This good initial comparison shows the potential of the iVOF method for the simulation of the behaviour of sub-sea structures in the splash zone. However, significant further development and validation is needed before a fully coupled simulation of a sub-sea structure and its lifting vessel in waves can be carried out. This possibility is also affected by the long simulation times required at the moment. As an intermediate step the method might be used to determine the wave loads and added mass in an uncoupled simulation.

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Tim Bunnik

Senior Researcher

Bas Buchner


stability, seakeeping and ocean engineeringwaves, impacts and hydrostructuralcfd developmentcfd/simulation/desk studiesmeasurements and controldata sciencerenewablesoil and gasinfrastructuremarine systemslife at seamodel testingresearch and developmentlifting and decommissioningloads and responsesoffshore engineeringresearch