How do Heavy Waves Affect Offshore Structures?

Equinor's Sleipnir A platform in a storm (Equinor)

Published Aug 22, 2021 3:42 PM by Gemini News

The force of waves slamming into offshore rigs, wind turbine pillars, ships or other offshore structures can do an enormous amount of damage.

One of the fundamental – and unresolved – problems with designing these kinds of large structures is being able to predict exactly how they will react to extreme stresses. What exactly is the load from the force of powerful waves slamming into structures?

Solving these challenges will be a major step towards safer and more cost-effective marine operations. “It’s crucial to understand the mutual interaction between the impacting wave and the response of the structure,” says Rene Kaufmann.

Kaufmann is a postdoctoral fellow at the NTNU SIMLab (Structural Impact Laboratory) and one of the researchers in the SLADE KPN project. This is a Knowledge-building Project for Industry (KPN) funded by the Research Council of Norway, in which researchers from SINTEF Ocean and NTNU are collaborating on basic research. The overall goal is to increase the safety at sea.

It’s important to expand what’s known about these challenges, but that will require systematic experimental studies of wave-impact scenarios. The project will do exactly that, which should allow researchers to figure out how a structure’s behaviour interacts with the loads that are applied to it.

The researchers are developing experimental m....

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