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OF

Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania

ABSTRACT

Vertices

16

Curvature

corner

17.5m radius

of curvature

Base thickness

5m

5m

Base radius

50m

50m

Effective radius

47.5m

47.5m

NOMENCLATURE

Symbol

A

CD

CL

F

g

L

Re

v

Y+

Description

Area

Drag Coefficient

Lift Coefficient

Force

Gravity

Length

Reynolds number

Velocity

Dimensionless distance from wall

Boundary layer thickness

Density

Viscosity

Units

m2

N

ms-2

m

ms-1

m

kgm-3

Pa.s

Speed

2ms-1

Water depth

100m

Air draft

20m

I NTRODUCTION

gravity based structures, Hibernia and Hebron. In particular

this report analyses the force components acting on the

structure while submerged within conditions seen commonly

within the North Sea. The basic parameters used to

investigate this objective can be seen in Table 1 -1.

Table 1-1: Outline of parameters investigated

Change in frontal

area/geometry alters flow

recovery

Angle of attack

1.1

environmental variables. These can be seen in Table 1 -3.

Drag coefficient

Non-dimensional constant

that summarises fluid

activity around geometry

Tipping moments

structure

I NITIAL CONDITIONS

From it can be seen that both geometries are similar in

magnitude and only differ with regards to their quantity and

curvature of vortices. For a detailed comparison of the

geometry dimensions see Table 1 -2

Table 1-2: Comparison of structure dimensions

Hibernia

1

Hebron

1.2

2

OUTCOME

BACKGROUND

is necessary for both validating and interpreting the results.

This section outlines all theory used within the paper to

accurately reach a conclusive comparison between the GBS

Hibernia and Hebron.

2.1

CONCEPTS

AND

EQUATIONS

the computational simulation for understanding the physical

situation of the flow problem. Through the understanding of

these concepts, the correct meshing and boundary conditions

can be calculated. For simplicity of reference they are

ordered alphabetically.

2.1.1

BOUNDARY L AYER

The boundary layer defines the layer of fluid from the edge

of the surface to the free steam velocity. A typical profile can

be seen in Figure 2 -1 for both laminar and turbulent flow.

appear on the wall between the roughness of the plate and

the viscosity of the fluid. These stresses work against the

movement of the flow and create a drag on the submerged

structure.

Figure 2-1: A typical profile of a boundary layer (NASA, 1971) and the

distinctions between laminar and turbulent (University of Sydney, 2015)

present on the surface, causing a non-slip condition. An

alternative to this concept is the free slip condition (see

CFX-Pre Strategy). The non-slip condition ultimately leads

to a very thin, slow moving sub-layer very close to the

surface affected by what is known as the wall shear stress.

As the distance from the wall increases, the velocity gradient

increases until met with the free stream velocity.

Additionally a boundary layer may be laminar or turbulent.

In the context of this paper, a turbulent boundary layer will

be considered.

To estimate the boundary layer for a cylindrical geometry,

an approximation can be made by using the equation for a

flat plate in turbulent flow (Mollard, 2011).

0.37 D

Re1/5

boundary layer (i.e. at separation point). However to be

conservative this value is doubled when modelled.

To calculate the first layer of the boundary is used (White,

2011).

D Y 80

Re 13/14

equating the amount that fit within the total boundary layer

thickness found in .

2.1.2

DRAG

The drag of a subsea structure is a force created proportional

to the velocity in the opposing direction of the movement.

Additionally, as the density of the fluid medium increases,

the consequent drag on the structure increases. This can be

seen in .

1

FD CD ADrag v 2

2

Where ADrag represents the frontal area of the structure

exposed to the flow. Drag can be categorized into two

components; skin friction and form drag.

Form drag, also known as pressure drag, is caused by the

differential pressure on the structure. As the structure is

subjected to moving flow, the fluid pushes initially onto the

bow face much harder than the flow at the aft end of the

structure. The differential pressure of a structure is

decreased by the slenderness of the structure i.e. how

streamlined the structure is. In the context of this paper a

vertical cylinder is considered; a non-streamlined structure.

This will therefore result in a large pressure differential and

ultimately increase the form drag component. In the case of

a non-streamlined body, the differential pressure is amplified

by the occurrence of wakes in the flow.

2.1.3

EDDY CURRENTS AND VISCOSITY

As a flow moves around a body and recirculates in the

presence of a wake region, the current acting in reverse to

the movement is called an eddy current. This confused flow

is undesirable and increases the pressure differential on the

body. Eddy viscosity is a term given characteristic of the

flow rather than the fluid. Used in turbulent modelling, this

value helps predict the nature and occurrence of the eddy

currents around a body. (White, 2011)

2.1.4

FREE SURFACE

The free surface is defined as the bordering face between

two fluids of different densities/viscosities. In the context of

this paper it is the border between seawater and air.

2.1.5

PRESSURE GRADIENT

A pressure gradient is the change in pressure over time on a

submerged structure. It is the main component of fluid

acceleration within a volume. The pressure gradient is

highly dependent on both fluid velocity and fluid density.

Additionally the pressure gradient can change depending on

the fluid recovery after interaction with a solid face.

(Shapiro, 2006)

2.1.6

REYNOLDS NUMBER

The Reynolds number is used to classify the type of flow

around a solid submerged in a fluid. This value correlates

directly to the thickness of the boundary layer, used to

estimate separation point and subsequently generate a mesh

that accurately determines the pressure difference

surrounding the structure. The physical significance of the

value represents the ratio of both inertial and viscous

stresses. Therefore at higher Reynolds numbers, inertial

forces are more prevalent and turbulent flow exists.

Consequently at lower Reynolds numbers, viscous forces are

large and the flow is laminar. (Subramanian, 2006)

Reynolds number is defined in :

2.1.2.1

S KIN F RICTION

2

Re

vD

used, meaning a turbulent flow is present and viscous forces

are minimal.

2.1.7

SEPARATION POINT

In the event of an adverse pressure gradient, fluid pressure is

increased in the direction of the moving fluid. Due to the

proportionality between pressure and potential energy, this

adverse pressure gradient can cause a significant decrease in

kinetic energy and ultimately cause a deceleration of the

fluid. Due to the loss in velocity, the boundary layer thickens

(see Equations and ). With a thicker boundary layer, the

velocity profile decreases in gradient leading ultimately to a

decrease in wall shear stress. When the decrease in wall

shear stress is reduced to zero, separation occurs i.e. with a

large enough adverse pressure gradient. (Celli, 1997)

2.1.8

VISCOUS FORCES

Viscous forces are caused by the friction between a

submerged body and the fluid moving past it. As discussed

in Section 2.1.8, at higher Reynolds numbers these effects

are at a minimal. In the context of the paper (excluding

validation) only higher Reynolds numbers are considered. In

these situations despite the effects of viscous forces being

minimal, they cannot be ignored close to the wall at the

boundary layer.

2.1.9

WAKE

As the flow moves over the subsea structure, a nonstreamlined body will exhibit a large pressure change

between each end of the structure. The low pressure region

at the aft of the structure is predominantly caused by the

wake region. The wake region is categorized as the area of

flow where mixing is intensified and a large amount of

energy is lost from recirculation of flow. (White, 2011)

2.2

CFD THEORY

computation methods used and limitations involved when

simulating fluid flow.

2.2.1

REYNOLDS -AVERAGE NAVIER -STOKES

In the context of the project outline, this method performs

with high efficiency when considering the limitations in

place. Other CFD flow simulation methods are large eddy

simulation (LES) and direct numerical simulation (DNS).

Due to limitations in both time and computational

requirements these methods were not achieveable. However

ultimately, as drag is the desired variable, high level

simulations of flow behavior including separation point

prediction are not necessary to achieve high accuracy results

that fit within the project scope. Reynolds-Averaged NavierStokes (RANS) method involves the combination of

continuity, momentum and energy equations to form the

Navier-Stokes equations and then applying the assumption

3

Reynolds-averaging technique involves introducing a

fluctuant turbulent velocity that varies through a mean

velocity, overall introducing Reynolds stresses to the

system. Turbulent flow is modelled rather than calculated.

2.2.2

RICHARDSON S E XTRAPOLATION

Using a grid convergence study, validation through

Richardsons Extrapolation is able to verify with validity of

a fluid study. To conduct this study three refinements of the

mesh are necessary fine (1), medium (2) and coarse (3)

each with a steady decrease in number of cells (constant

ratio). Due to the restriction of the paper, nodes are used for

comparison as opposed to elements. A non-dimensional

value is used to compare each mesh. Drag coefficient is used

in this paper. Once each value is computed, the changes of

solution are found as follows:

32 C (h3 ) C (h2 )

21 C (h2 ) C (h1 )

The ratio of the values found in and must be between 0 and

1 for monotonic convergence. The changes in solution are

represented by:

ln(32 / 21 )

ln(r )

estimate can then be calculated by:

21

r p 1

be found:

CR C1

The value determined in represents the solution at an

infinite number of cells. From this value, a reasonable error

can be calculated from any solutions with the same control

volume and similar mesh.

2.2.3

SHEAR STRESS TRANSPORT M ETHOD

For this paper the Shear Stress Transport (SST) method is

used for simulation. As discussed, RANS simulation models

eddy-viscosity turbulence rather than through calculation.

Two models exist depending on the proximity to the wall: k within the free stream and k- close to the wall.

Using the k- often overestimates shear stress in adverse

pressure gradients due to its lack of consideration around the

boundary layer. To solve this issue, a k- accurately predicts

the flow at adverse pressure gradients; however the free

stream values must be pre-determined.

therefore proves as a useful tool in accurately determining

pressure gradients independent of the fluids proximity to

the wall. (Davidson, 2006)

3

METHODOLOGY

assumed and the justification through calculations of their

reasoning.

3.1

MODELLING

Due to the likelihood and necessity of iterating this

geometry in light of new data, Design Modeler was chosen

for its ease of adaptability with meshing and CFX.

Drawing the models were achieved by first choosing a plane

to sketch on and then making the cross sectional shape. For

a consistency of direction with regards to the ITTC

standards the xy plane was chosen, ensuring that the z axis

was used for water depth definition. The 2D sketches were

then extruded into a 3D structure. For the 16-pointed star

and the heptafoil, the angles of the 2D sketch are mirrored to

increase efficiency and accuracy.

reduce nodal count and consequent computational time. The

plane of symmetry is used to halve the bodies as it assumes

the fluid will flow around both sides in the same pattern.

A triangular prism was drawn and extruded around the two

structures; this was designed in a shape that would capture

the expected turbulence pattern. As shown in Fig In the

mesh stage of modelling this prism was used as a body of

influence. This was kept as a frozen part. The structure is

Boolean-subtracted from the water and air bodies, such that

all the bodies left is three frozen bodies.

Named selections

meshing

of results file showing area of interest

structure split, why)

ease when define volume fraction expression in

CFX-Pre

separate sketch on the same xy plane. Not all the dimensions

of the control volume were given, shown below in Fig.

were the given values.

3.2

MESH STRATEGY

the same level of accuracy was tested in both cases for

comparison purposes.

Initial considerations were given to sizing the body of

influence, offering a refined mesh size in the area previously

found to contain hydrodynamic points of interest (i.e.

separation and wake). Since these points of interest have an

effect on the desired measured variable (drag), it was

decided that a refinement will subsequently increase the

quality of the results.

Secondly, the face sizing of the structure itself was given

priority. Furthermore the inflation layer on the structure was

introduced. By sizing both the face and surrounding control

volume before the inflation layer, the likelihood of the

inflation layer crashing is reduced.

Equation was doubled as a conservative value for the

boundary layer total thickness. This is due to the nature of

the equation and the complexity of this shape compared to a

flat plate. In reality, the boundary layer thickness can be up

to double the expected thickness before separation and not

capturing this area can be catastrophic to drag prediction.

The number of layers defined were 3, corresponding to a

large y+ value of 40000. This y+ value led to the location of

the first node lying within the log layer. Although this

consequently reduced the accuracy of the simulation, it was

a necessary trade-off given the element restriction of

500,000 as well as the task of modelling full-scale.

A second inflation layer was defined at the free surface to

capture the interaction between water and air. The thickness

and number of layers used corresponded with that chosen

for the free surface inflation layer. This is purely due to

mesh connection limitation, and simplification. The

likelihood of pinch points occurring increases when two

inflation layers join with differing characteristics.

3.3

CFX-P RE STRATEGY

imported for the fluid properties to be set. The mesh was

imported into CFX-Pre as an ANSYS meshdat file. This

ensured that all nodal connections and elements were

accurately imported and ready for simulation. Once

imported, all named selections were noted to have

transferred across smoothly.

To simplify computational time heat transfer was neglected

and the same temperature assumed throughout the structure.

In reality this change in temperature would have minimal

effects on the drag calculation. Both air and water fluid

properties were set for at a temperature of 25 degrees

Celsius. The air was set to act at a reference pressure of 1

ATM (atmospheric pressure). Both fluids again were set

with buoyancy active and gravity acting in the z direction.

5

(SST). This was selected for the simulation to ensure a good

prediction of friction using the boundary layer as well as

accurate predictions throughout the log-law region.

The fluid domain was given an interphase transfer of a free

surface, since the water and fluid phases interact at the free

surface.

The inlet condition was added as a boundary to the default

domain using the previously defined named selection. Using

an inlet allows fluid flow to only move in one direction

(negative x direction) into the control volume. An input

velocity of 2 ms-1 was given to the water domain, with air

speed defined as 3 ms-1. If the air domain velocity was to run

less than the water, it is common for the control volume

modelled in CFX to become misbalanced, Therefore this

addition to the simulation increases stability, and is later

removed from the drag coefficient due to the split in named

selections of the structure above and below the waterline.

To create a fully developed flow at the inlet, zero gradient

turbulence was selected.

For the outlet condition an opening was selected using the

named selection. Selecting an opening ensured that no flow

will be trapped within the domain and that the flow could

travel two-ways through the outlet. Again zero gradient

turbulence was selected as the output boundary is assumed

to have no effect on the fully developed flow. The relative

pressure at the outlet was entered as an expression with

conditional values. Above the waterline (air domain) it was

expected that the relative pressure would be 0Pa (i.e. remain

at atmospheric pressure). However, below the waterline, a

back pressure was necessary to simulate hydrostatic

pressure.

Each wall, including the back wall and bottom of the control

volume, were defined as free slip walls (no boundary layer).

On the back wall and the bottom of the structure, it was

assumed that, due to their distance from the structure itself,

any interaction would have negligible effect on the flow. In

the full scale situation especially, these boundaries would

not have an effect on the fluid dynamics around the

structure. Any effect that they may have on the structure was

taken as a trade-off against the amount of extra

computational time it would take to model a boundary layer

on this surface if prescribed as a non-slip.

As the structure is highly important in determining the effect

of the fluid flow it has been prescribed as a non-slip wall

through named selections. Defining the structure as non-slip

leads to the solid boundary of the structure holding fluid

with zero velocity. This leads to a velocity profile away from

the wall, fundamental to the consequent drag estimation.

Since the structure has only had half modelled, the

symmetrical side is given the boundary of symmetry. This

boundary consequently mirrors the fluid behavior on either

side and lets the fluid act with how it expects the fluid to

modelled identically on either side and consequently halve

computational time.

The top side boundary type is an opening to allow two-way

flow and eliminate any possible compression between the

water and fluid body.

defining the free surface) utilized volume fraction

expressions. Since the global coordinate system was define

at the expected location of the free surface, the expression

was simplified and able to be easily entered at both the

outlet and inlet conditions. At the top opening, the volume

fraction was entered as purely air.

3.4

time limitations. However in an ideal situation all angles

used in the study should be verified.

SOLVER STRATEGY

convergence, initialization was set using the expressions for

volume fraction with the given global coordinate system.

Drag was measured for convergence as this was decided as

fundamental to the case study. To define drag an expression

was used to measure the force acting on the structure walls

in the direction of the flow. As mentioned previously, this

force was divided into two drag with respect to air velocity

and water velocity due to the differences in density

between air and water.

From trial and error, it was found that the maximum

iterations needed were between 1000 and 2000 depending

on the level of discretisation in the mesh. Convergence was

defined as three level oscillations over a period of 2-3

significant figures.

4.1

convergence, how many)

VALIDATION

scaling)

(talk about Fraude scaling) ****

G RID CONVERGENCE

Richardsons extrapolation for three different complexities

of mesh.

4.1.1

STRATEGY

Richardsons extrapolation compares non-dimensional

values found at meshes using a proportional number of cells.

For this study a constant ratio of 2 was used and the nodal

count was at 125,000, 250,000 and 500,000 respectively.

6

Acceleration.

Massachusetts:

Massachusetts

Institute of Technology.

Subramanian, R. S. (2006). Reynolds Number. Clarkson:

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular

Engineering.

University of Sydney. (2015, 03 24). Laminar and Turbulent

Boundary Layers. Retrieved from Aerodynamics

for

Students:

http://wwwmdp.eng.cam.ac.uk/web/library/enginfo

/aerothermal_dvd_only/aero/fprops/introvisc/

5

RESULTS

5.1

5.2

o

Drag coefficients

Moment z

Moment y

Moment x

Q UALITATIVE RESULTS

contribute to delay of separation point, etc, and link

back to quantitative results.

CONCLUSION

DISCUSSION

Q UANTITATIVE RESULTS

AND

REFERENCES

Drag. Retrieved from Fluid Mechanics:

http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/311/notes/fl

uids2/node11.html

Davidson, L. (2006). The SST Model. Retrieved from

Turbulence

Modelling:

http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/doct/comp turb model

Mollard, A. F. (2011). Ship Resistance and Propulsion.

USA: Cambridge.

NASA. (1971). Research Authorization 201. In Model

Research - Volume 2 (p. Appendix F).

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