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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/J012866/1
Title FROTH: Fundamentals and Reliability of Offshore Structure Hydrodynamics
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Ocean Energy) 10%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 5%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Other oil and gas) 10%;
Not Energy Related 75%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (General Engineering and Mineral & Mining Engineering) 50%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Prof D (Deborah ) Greaves
No email address given
School of Marine Science and Engineering
University of Plymouth
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 November 2012
End Date 31 October 2015
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £436,113
Industrial Sectors Water
Region South West
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Prof D (Deborah ) Greaves , School of Marine Science and Engineering, University of Plymouth (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr AC Raby , Sch of Engineering, University of Plymouth (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract The FROTH project is a close collaboration between five universities with significant experience in research into wave interactions with fixed and floating structures working together to combine and apply their expertise to different aspects of the problem. The aim is to investigate the detailed physics of violent hydrodynamic impact loading on rigid and elastic structures through a carefully integrated programme of numerical modelling and physical experiments at large scale. Open source numerical code will be developed to simulate laboratory experiments to be carried out in the new national wave and current facility at the UoP (http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=34369).It is well known that climate change will lead to sea level rise and increased storm activity (either more severe individual storms or more storms overall, or both) in the offshore marine environment around the UK and north-western Europe. This has critical implications for the safety of personnel on existing offshore structures and for the safe operation of existing and new classes of LNG carrier vessels whose structures are subject to large instantaneous loadings due to violent sloshing of transported liquids in severe seas. Some existing oil and gas offshore structures in UK waters are already up to 40 years old and these aging structures need to be re-assessed to ensure that they can withstand increased loading due to climate change, and to confirm that their life can be extended into the next 25 years. The cost of upgrading these existing structures and of ensuring the survivability and safe operation of new structures and vessels will depend critically on the reliability of hydrodynamic impact load predictions. These loadings cause severe damage to sea walls, tanks providing containment to sloshing liquids (such as in LNG carriers) and damage to FPSOs and other offshore marine floating structures such as wave energy converters.Whilst the hydrodynamics in the bulk of a fluid is relatively well understood, the violent motion and break-up of the water surface remains a major challenge to simulate with sufficient accuracy for engineering design. Although free surface elevations and average loadings are often predicted relatively well by analysis techniques, observed instantaneous peak pressures are not reliably predicted in such extreme conditions and are often not repeatable even in carefully controlled laboratory experiments. There remain a number of deeply fundamental open questions as to the detailed physics of hydrodynamic impact loading, even for fixed structures and the extremely high-pressure impulse that may occur. In particular, uncertainty exists in the understanding of the influence of: the presence of air in the water (both entrapped pockets and entrained bubbles) as the acoustic properties of the water change leading to variability of wave impact pressures measured in experiments; flexibility of the structure leading to hydroelastic response; steepness and three dimensionality of the incident wave.This proposal seeks to directly attack this fundamentally difficult and safety-critical problem with a tightly integrated set of laboratory experiments and state of the art numerical simulations with the ultimate aim of providing improved guidance to the designers of offshore, marine and coastal structures, both fixed and floating
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 03/12/12