Abstract Mean- and low-frequency wave drift forces on moored structures are important with respect to low-frequency motions and peak mooring loads. This paper addresses prediction of these forces on semisubmersible-type structures by use of computations based on three-dimensional (3D) potential theory. The discussion includes a computational method based on direct integration of pressure on the wetted part of the hull of arbitrarily shaped structures. Results of computations of horizontal drift forces on a six-column semisubmersible are compared with model tests in regular and irregular waves. The mean vertical drift forces on a submerged horizontal cylinder obtained from model tests also are compared with results of computations. On the basis of these comparisons, we conclude that wave drift forces on semisubmersible-type structures in conditions of waves without current can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by means of computations based on potential theory.
Introduction Stationary vessels floating or submerged in irregular waves are subjected to large first-order wave forces and moments that are linearly proportional to the wave height and that contain the same frequencies as the waves. They also are subjected to small second-order mean- and low- frequency wave forces and moments that are proportional to the square of the wave height. Frequencies of second-order low-frequency components are associated with the frequencies of wave groups occurring in irregular waves.First-order wave forces and moments cause the well-known first-order motions with wave frequencies. First-order wave forces and motions have been investigated for several decades. As a result of these investigations, methods have been developed to predict these forces and moments with reasonable accuracy for many different vessel shapes.For semisubmersibles, which consist of a number of relatively slender elements such as columns, floaters, and bracings, computation methods have been developed to determine the hydrodynamic loads on those elements without accounting for interaction effects between the elements. For the first-order wave loads and motion problem, these computations give accurate results.This paper deals with the mean- and low-frequency second-order wave forces acting on stationary vessels in regular and irregular waves in general and presents a method to predict these forces on the basis of computations.The importance of mean- and low-frequency wave drift forces, from the point of view of motion behavior and mooring loads on vessels moored at point of view of motion behavior and mooring loads on vessels moored at sea, has been recognized only within the last few years. Verhagen and Van Sluijs, Hsu and Blenkarn, and Remery and Hermans showed that the low-frequency components of wave drift forces in irregular waves-even though relatively small in magnitude-can excite large-amplitude low- frequency horizontal motions in moored structures. It was shown for irregular waves that the drift forces contain components with frequencies coinciding with the natural frequencies of the horizontal motions of moored vessels. Combined with minimal damping of low-frequency horizontal motions of moored structures, this leads to large-amplitude resonant behavior of the motions (Fig. 1). Remery and Hermans established that low-frequency components in drift forces are associated with the frequencies of wave groups present in an irregular wave train.The vertical components of the second-order forces sometimes are called suction forces.
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