VORTEX-INDUCED MOTION: MODEL TESTING OF A MONOCOLUMN FLOATER

The vortex-induced vibrations – VIV have been studied for several fields of engineering due to its occurrence in differentstructures, such as electrical cables, industries chimneys and offshore risers. Although available an extensive literature describing its fundamental issues, these vortex-induced phenomena still deserve investigation, particularly in the offshore platforms installed in regions with high current speed.

Recently, the Vortex-Induced Motions – VIM, a particular case of vortex-induced vibration with high magnitude of response amplitude, have been observed in SPAR platforms installed in Gulf of Mexico – GoM, opening a new investigation field. For those motions, aspects such as asymmetric mooring restoring stiffness and the probable threedimensionality of the flow turn the problem even more complex.

Since 2003, in partnership with University of Sao Paulo and consultant companies, PETROBRAS has been studying the use of monocolumn floaters for oil production in Campos Basin and GoM. Considering the environmental conditions in these areas and assuming that monocolumn floaters can exhibit similar VIM behavior of SPAR platforms, it was started an experimental investigation focusing on VIM responses of small-scale monocolumn floaters in towing tank. Although based on the state of art procedures used for SPAR platforms, the monocolumn experiments considered the different geometry of this concept and the larger susceptibility to the three-dimensional effects, due to the smaller relation draft/beam. Special attention was given to the ratio roughness/beam in order to guarantee similarity between the experiments and its respective real cases. Additionally, different heading conditions were also tested.

Thus, the present work presents a set of preliminary results and discussions concerning VIM of monocolumn floaters and its impact on the mooring line design and riser specification.