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Current blockage in sheared flow: Experiments and numerical modelling of regular waves and strongly sheared current through a space-frame structure

Santo, H; Stagonas, D; Buldakov, E; Taylor, P; (2017) Current blockage in sheared flow: Experiments and numerical modelling of regular waves and strongly sheared current through a space-frame structure. Journal of Fluids and Structures , 70 pp. 374-389. 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2017.02.010. Green open access

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Abstract

Space-frame structures supporting marine renewable energy devices such as offshore wind turbines are exposed to complex hydrodynamic forces resulting from the coexistence of waves and currents. Previous investigations on the interaction of such structure acting as an obstacle array with regular waves and in-line uniform current reported a reduced fluid loading due to current blockage. This paper documents laboratory-scale experimental evidence for reduced fluid loading on a truss structure exposed to regular waves with in-line sheared current in shallow water. Strongly sheared current of different speeds is generated and profiled using purposely-built wire resistance arrays in a wave-current flume, and a range of regular waves are created using a piston-type wavemaker. The global hydrodynamic force time history on a truss structure is measured for a range of sheared current speeds and regular wave heights. For all test cases, two loading configurations are considered, with the truss positioned end-on and diagonal to the incident flow direction. Comparisons are made with the analytical current blockage model for steady uniform current by Taylor (1991) and Taylor et al. (2013), and with the numerical simulations conducted in OpenFOAM using a porous tower model following the approach by Santo et al. (2015). Under the same input condition, the diagonal loading configuration is observed to attract higher forces and therefore it should not be ignored when assessing the survivability of such structures. Overall, good agreement in terms of the peak forces and the shapes of force time history is achieved, all with a single and consistent value for each of Cd and Cm. On the other hand, predictions using standard Morison with no blockage and the present API recommendation with the same Cd and Cm result in force overpredictions for all cases of regular waves with in-line current. For steady sheared current flow through a porous tower, apart from the dominant lateral flow divergence, numerical flow visualisation reveals an existence of vertical flow interaction in the porous tower. This is attributed to the non-uniform loading with water depth and was not observed previously for uniform current flow. This study provides the first experimental validation and justification on the use of a simple porous block in representing a complex geometry of real space-frame structures when exposed to combined large regular waves and in-line current.

Type: Article
Title: Current blockage in sheared flow: Experiments and numerical modelling of regular waves and strongly sheared current through a space-frame structure
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2017.02.010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2017.02....
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Current blockage; Porous block; Sheared flow; Morison drag loading; Actuator disc
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520775
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