Offshore Floating Platforms : Analysis of a solution for motion mitigation
Abstract: Recent events regarding energy policies throughout the globe and advances in technology are making offshore wind farms become a reality. Most offshore wind farms are still, however, built close to land masses, and need to be rigidly attached to the seabed in one way or another. In many countries, both public and private entities are developing new concepts of floating platforms to overcome the thirty to thirty-five-metre depth limit. Some of these new platforms use and adapt previous Oil and Gas platform concepts, while others are built up from scratch. This Master Thesis covers a hydrodynamic and structural analysis of a new concrete floating platform concept developed for medium to deep waters. This work is based on data from experimental model-scale tests performed in a wave tank and from numerical models using linear potential theory, limited here only to regular wave trains. The study focused on the behavior of the heave plates attached to the platform: test data was analyzed in order to find indicators of the largest dynamic pressures on the plates when only motion data was available, and the structural behavior of the plates was studied under different static pressure distributions using a commercial Finite Element Method software. The results from these analyses show that the normal accelerations of the plates -assumed rigid- strongly correlate with the dynamic pressures measured; and that the general structural behavior of the plate, in terms of deformations and bending moments, is well captured when the hydrodynamic load distribution is simplified into a uniformly distributed load of the same magnitude. The results obtained will help reduce the computational effort currently needed in the design of these floating structures, especially at some stages, when numerous scenarios, load cases and combinations need to be studied.
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