Applicability of WaveWatch-III wave model to fatigue assessment of offshore floating structures

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Abstract

In design and operation of floating offshore structures, one has to avoid fatigue failures caused by action of ocean waves. The aim of this paper is to investigate the applicability of WaveWatch-III wave model to fatigue assessment of offshore floating structures. The applicability was investigated for Bluewaters’ FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) which had been turret moored at Sable field for half a decade. The waves were predicted as sea-state time series consisting of one wind sea and one swell. The predicted waves were compared with wave data obtained from ERA-interim and buoy measurements. Furthermore, the fatigue calculations were also carried out for main deck and side shell locations. It has been concluded that predicted fatigue damages of main deck using WaveWatch-III are in a very good agreement regardless of differences in predicted wind waves and swells caused by differences in wave system partitioning. When compared to buoy measurements, the model underestimates fatigue damages of side shell by approximately 30 %. The reason for that has been found in wider directional spreading of actual waves. The WaveWatch-III wave model has been found suitable for the fatigue assessment. However, more attention should be paid on relative wave directionality, wave system partitioning and uncertainty analysis in further development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1108
JournalOcean Dynamics: theoretical, computational oceanography and monitoring
Volume66
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Wave models
  • Fatigue assessment
  • Offshore floating structures
  • FPSO

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