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Ocean Systems Engineering
  Volume 7, Number 2, June 2017 , pages 121-141

Current effects on global motions of a floating platform in waves
Meng Shen and Yuming Liu

    The purpose of this paper is to understand and model the slow current (~2 m/s) effects on the global response of a floating offshore platform in waves. A time-domain numerical simulation of full wave-current-body interaction by a quadratic boundary element method (QBEM) is applied to compute the hydrodynamic loads and motions of a floating body under the combined influence of waves and current. The study is performed in the context of linearized potential flow theory that is sufficient in understanding the leading-order current effect on the body motion. The numerical simulations are validated by quantitative comparisons of the hydrodynamic coefficients with the WAMIT prediction for a truncated vertical circular cylinder in the absence of current. It is found from the simulation results that the presence of current leads to a loss of symmetry in flow dynamics for a tension-leg platform (TLP) with symmetric geometry, resulting in the coupling of the heave motion with the surge and pitch motions. Moreover, the presence of current largely affects the wave excitation force and moment as well as the motion of the platform while it has a negligible influence on the added mass and damping coefficients. It is also found that the current effect is strongly correlated with the wavelength but not frequency of the wave field. The global motion of a floating body in the presence of a slow current at relatively small encounter wave frequencies can be satisfactorily approximated by the response of the body in the absence of current at the intrinsic frequency corresponding to the same wavelength as in the presence of current. This finding has a significant implication in the model test of global motions of offshore structures in ocean waves and currents.
Key Words
    wave-current-body interaction; platform motions; quadratic boundary element method
Meng Shen and Yuming Liu: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

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