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Ocean Systems Engineering
  Volume 7, Number 2, June 2017 , pages 143-155

Numerical simulation of fish nets in currents using a Morison force model
Cristian Cifuentes and M.H. Kim

    For complex flexible structures such as nets, the determination of drag forces and its deformation is a challenging task. The accurate prediction of loads on cages is one of the key steps in designing fish farm facilities. The basic physics with a simple cage, can be addressed by the use of experimental studies. However, to design more complex cage system for various environmental conditions, a reliable numerical simulation tool is essential. In this work, the current load on a cage is calculated using a Morison-force model applied at instantaneous positions of equivalent-net modeling. Variations of solidity ratio (Sn) of the net and current speed are considered. An equivalent array of cylinders is built to represent the physical netting. Based on the systematic comparisons between the published experimental data for Raschel nets and the current numerical simulations, carried out using the commercial software OrcaFlex, a new formulation for Cd values, used in the equivalent-net model, is presented. The similar approach can also be applied to other netting materials following the same procedure. In case of high solidity ratio and current speed, the hybrid model defines Cd as a function of Re (Reynolds number) and Sn to better represent the corresponding weak diffraction effects. Otherwise, the conventional Cd values depending only on Re can be used with including shielding effects for downstream elements. This new methodology significantly improves the agreement between numerical and experimental data.
Key Words
    fish cage; equivalent net model; Morison drag formula; strong current; large deformation; solidity ratio; drag coefficient; weak diffraction effect; shielding effect
Cristian Cifuentes: Institute of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
M.H. Kim: Department of Ocean Engineering Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

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