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Subsea Technology

Mooring Design

1. Introduction

2. System Types

3. Mooring Components

4. Design Considerations

5. Design Criteria

6. Design Methods

• Quasi – Static

• Dynamic

• Model Tests

Station Keeping

System:

System Types:

• Most floating facilities are designed to stay at a single location secured to

the sea floor by a purpose built mooring system

• Some systems are designed to be disconnectable to allow escape from bad

weather such as cyclones (eg BHPB’s Griffin Venture)

• DP & Thruster Assisted station keeping is also used, though much less

frequently

Hull type Vs. Wave

period

Spar - Motions

TLPs in the mechanism of motion

control.

• The centre of gravity (VCG) is lower

then the centre of buoyancy (VCB) –

unconditionally stable.

• The spar derives no stability from its

mooring system.

• The deep draft is favourable for

minimal heave motions esp. with heave

plates.

• The hull natural period in heave & pitch

is above the range of wave energy

periods.

• The reduced heave & pitch motions

permit the use of dry trees.

TLP Motions

be in balance ie the fixed & variable loads +

tendon tension equal its displacement.

• The hulls excessive buoyancy causes the

tendons to always be in tension and

restrains the platform in heave.

• The displacement of the hull and the tendon

axial stiffness are chosen such that the

vertical and angular natural periods are well

below the wave excitation periods and the

horizontal natural periods are well above the

wave excitation periods.

• TLPs undergo ‘setdown’, as environmental

forces cause an ‘offset’ displacement ie the

draft increases as the platform is moved

horizontally due to lateral loads thereby

increasing the tendon tensions.

• The reduced heave & pitch motions permit

the use of dry trees.

Semisubmersible -

Motions

• Limited sensitivity to water depth

• Trending to deeper draft to reduce

heave motions esp. in response to low

wave periods (<8 seconds).

• Columns are sized to provide adequate

waterplane area to support all

anticipated loading conditions, spaced

to support topsides modules, and tuned

for a natural period of at least 20

seconds.

• These columns are supported by two

parallel pontoons or a ring pontoon.

Pontoons are sized to provide adequate

buoyancy to support all weights and

vertical loads, and proportioned to

maximize heave damping.

• Taut or spread catenary mooring

system.

Common FPS

Configurations

Mooring

Tensioned

Risers

Common FPS

Configurations

Common FPS

Configurations

FPS Mooring

Configurations

FPSO Turret

Configurations

Other Station Keeping

Methods

(SALM)

Catenary Mooring Basics

– Steady & fluctuating – Top end surge motions (small

heave)

wind – Wave

– Wave & wave drift – Current

– Current – Sea-bed friction

Mooring Components

• Chain

• Wire

• Synthetic line

• Clump weights

• Buoys

• Hardware & Accessories

• Anchor Point

Mooring Components -

Chain

• Chain has proven durability offshore.

• Several grades available (ORQ, K4, U3 etc.. depending upon

classification society)

• Studlink & Studless (studless has greater strength & fatigue life, but

lower mass/m for a given size)

• Corrosion & wear catered for by increasing diameter ~0.4mm/year

service allowance in splash zone & dip zone, ~0.2mm elsewhere.

Mooring Components -

Wire

Wire

• Greater restoring force for a given

pretension

• Costs less per load capacity than chain but

doesn’t have the same restoring effect as

weight is 40% or so.

• Wear issues due to abrasion

• 6-strand, spiral strand, non-rotating

•Higher Strength to Weight Ratio •Higher elasticity

•Higher Strength to Diameter •Greater Flexibility

Ratio

•Lower Axial Stiffness

•Torsionally Balanced

•Higher Resistance to corrosion

Mooring Components -

Synthetic lines / Clump

Weights

• Synthetic lines:

– Recent developments in ultra deep water used

them

– Still in development phase for permanent

moorings

• Buoys

– Reduces weight of mooring lines on system

– reduced dynamics in deep water

– increased hardware costs / complexity of

installation

• Clump Weights

– sometimes used to improve performance or

reduce cost

– used in ‘dip zone’ to increase restoring forces

– added installation complexity

Mooring Components - Buoys

/ Connecting Hardware

• Connecting Hardware

– shackles, swivels, link

plates

• Vessel Hardware

Mooring Components -

Anchors

Drag Anchor Types

• Options:

– Drag Embedment

– Driven Piles

– Suction Installed Piles

– Gravity Anchors

• Choice based upon costs as

well as system performance,

soil conditions, reliability,

installation & proof loading

Suction Anchors

Recap of the FPSO Design

Overview

FUNCTIONAL SCHEME Topside Layout and

REQUIREMENTS CONFIGURATION structural support

-Mooring envelope -TLP, FPSO, Spar etc configuration

-Allowable Motions

-Allowable

displacements.

ANALYSIS crude oil storage,

production equipment etc.

STRUCTURAL DESIGN

-Strength

ANCHOR POINT

-Drag Anchors

This Section

-Fatigue -Driven Pile

-Suction Pile

-Gravity Anchor

INTERFACES CONFIGURATION

PRELIMINARY

LAYOUT MOORING TYPE

-Spread moored

-Single point mooring

-All Chain

-Wire/ Chain/ Wire

MODEL TESTING -Buoys / clump weights

in-line

N Y

REDESIGN & RERUN DESIGN &

MOORING & PERFORMANCE FINAL DESIGN

STRUCTURAL SATISFACTORY

ANALYSIS

Floating System Analysis

API RP 2SK

-Suitable for preliminary design

2. Rigorous Analysis

-Frequency Domain, Time Domain

numerical solutions

Simplified Analysis

• Dynamic wave loads are taken into account by statically offsetting the vessel

by an appropriately defined induced wave motion

• Vertical fairlead motions and dynamic effects associated with mass, damping

and fluid accelerations are neglected

• Research has shown this to be affected significantly by vessel, water depth, line

configuration

• Simplicity has proven it useful & practical for preliminary studies

• Vessel motions affect the dynamics of the mooring tensions. Eg acceleration

effects and loads as the mooring lines pass through the water

• Typical analysis simplified in so much as the vessel motions are assumed to be

unaffected by the mooring lines – OK for water depths up to 500m or so.

• Ultra deep mooring analysis requires that mooring effect on vessel motions

considered. In some cases even riser systems affect motions considerably

Floating System Analysis

Design Criteria and

Floating Structure Analysis Load Cases Initial

Mooring

Criteria

(Environment, allow Pattern

offsets etc)

Prior to starting Mooring or Structure design,

we need to work out how the vessel reacts to

the environment.

Determine Environmental Effects

How do we predict the response 1. Steady State Environmental

characteristics of the vessel? Forces

2. Determine Low Frequency

Motions

Typically this work is performed by specialist 3. Determine Wave

Frequency Motions

engineers / naval architects.

Work is performed using analysis or obtained

from scale model tests

Determine Mooring

Tensions / Offsets

Design Criteria /

Arrangement

Primary Considerations:

• Operations considerations 8 Leg Equispaced

– Mooring / Riser interface = offset

limitations (eg 10% - 20% water

depth)

– Directional Offsets

– Number of Risers / Heading

• Wire / Chain combinations depending

upon mooring depth, loads etc… Mooring

• Pretension affected by allowable

offsets

3 x 3 System

Risers

Design Cases

– Intact (all lines intact)

– Damaged (one line broken)

– Transient (motions after 1 line breaks)

Environmental Criteria

Key aspects for mooring design are Extreme and Operating

Environments

Extreme Environment:

These conditions have a low probability of being exceeded

within the design lifetime of the structure.

Extreme environmental responses are likely to govern the

design of a floating unit.

Eg a 20 year design life system typically uses 100 year Return

Period conditions. These have a probability of occurrence

during the 20 year design life of about 20%

Environmental Criteria

Normal Environment:

These conditions are those that are expected to occur frequently during

the construction and service life.

limit operations differently (eg crane usage, installation etc) the designer

should consider appropriate combinations for each situation.

design exhibited significant roll in moderate seas.

Basically the crew were getting seasick.

Solution → add bilge keels to stabilise roll = £10m in

expenses and lost revenue

Other Conditions

Phenomenon such as tsunamis, icebergs, solitons etc..

May also need consideration for a particular project

Forces and Motions

following 3 distinct frequency bands to evaluate their effects on the

system

• Steady Forces: wind, current and wave

drift are constant in magnitude for the

duration of interest

• Low-Frequency cyclic loads can excite

the platform at its natural periods in

surge, sway and yaw. Typical natural

periods are 60 to 180 seconds

• Wave-Frequency cyclic loads are large

in magnitude and are a major

contributor to member forces. Typical

periods are between 5 and 20 seconds

Steady Forces : Wind

Calculated on each part of the FPSO by summing the contribution of different areas :

Area 3

F = 0.5 ρair.A.Vz2. Cs (kN)

Area 1

where, Area 2

height z

SHAPE Cs

Vz = Vh (z/H)0.125 Large Flat Surface (hull, deckhouse) 1.00

Cs = Shape coefficient

Cylindrical 0.50

ρair = 0.00125 Tonnes/m3

Steady Forces : Current

Forces on the hull of an FPSO can be estimated by the following equations:

AREA = S

where,

S= Wetted surface area of the hull (m2)

Ccx = current force coefficient on the bow

= 0.00289 kNsec2/m4

Force on Beam of FPSO’s:

Fcy = Ccy .S.Vc2 (kN)

where,

Ccy = current force coefficient on the beam

= 0.07237 kNsec2/m4

Low Frequency Wave

Forces & Motions

SIMPLE METHOD → Calculate Wave Loading using tables in API RP 2SK.

Other Methods: Analytical Software & Model Tests

Adjust Low frequency motions based upon factoring mooring stiffness value

from the graph by the ratio of : (nominal stiffness / actual stiffness)1/2

1.0 Choose

Vessel Length

2.0 Chose

Wave Height

4.0 Read off values

# Low Freq. Single •Mooring Stiffness

# Mean drift Force

Amplitude Motion

•Significant & Maxima

Wave Frequency

Forces & Motions

Wave-Induced Vessel

Motion Responses

(periods approx 5secs to 20 secs) that

are obtained by computer analysis or

model tests. These are the motions that

we are all familiar with (eg roll, pitch,

heave, surge, sway, yaw).

Vessel : Wave Frequency

Response

Predicting 1st Order Response (1)

Amplitude Operators (RAO’s) and are different for

all 6 degrees of freedom (surge, sway, heave, roll,

pitch and yaw)

Vessel Response = Fn( Seastate , RAO’s)

•Typical RAO’s for a 100m long vessel with heading RAO's : 30 degree heading

30 degrees to waves for roll, heave, pitch and surge 4

are shown: Surge

•Heave & Surge : metres motion/metre wave height 3

•Pitch and Roll : degrees per metre wave height Heave

2

Roll

approx 5 degrees and heave is 1.8m)

1

Pitch

0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Period (seconds)

Vessel : Wave Frequency

Response

3 main calculation methods AQWA Model

– Time domain

– Frequency Domain

– Model tests

FREQUENCY DOMAIN

These methods are much simpler and less computationally intensive. Most of these methods use

STRIP THEORY in which the vessels motions are treated as forced, damped, low amplitude

sinusoidal motions.

– Vessel is divided into a number of transverse sections (or ‘strips’)

– Hydrodynamic properties are computed assuming 2D inviscid flow with no interference

from upstream sections

– Coefficients of the equations of motions may be found

TIME DOMAIN

Time Domain methods model the wave passing a hull. At small incremental steps the net force on the

hull is calculated by integrating the water pressure and frictional forces on each part of the hull. Using

Newton’s Second Law the acceleration on the hull is computed, then this is integrated over the time

step to compute the new vessel velocity and position

>> Although procedure is relatively straight forward, these methods are not routinely used.

– Software / Hardware advances are making this method more common: Diffracted Water

– Used for “non-standard” vessels such as Semi-submersibles & Spars Surface Contours

Vessel : Wave Frequency

Response

Predicting 1st Order Response (3)

MODEL TESTS

Still used today – why?

Because it works!!! – basically numerical computation is good, but still needs work to be suitable

Test 138

1.500

Average

1.000

0.500

0.000

0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00

-0.500

-1.000

Time (secs)

Quasi – Static Analysis:

Mooring Tensions & Vessel Offset

the combination of current, mean wave drift and mean

wind forces.

Maximum Offset is defined as mean offset plus

appropriately combined wave frequency and low

frequency vessel motions.

Mean

“static” “dynamic

Offset offset” +/-

Maximum

Steady Forces Offset

Quasi – Static Analysis:

Offset Definition

Let Smean = mean vessel offset

Smax = max vessel offset

Swfmax = max wave frequency motion

Swfsig = significant wave freq. motion

Slfmax = maximum low freq. motion

Slfsig = significant low freq. motion

If Swfmax>Slfmax , then: Smax = Smean+ Swfmax+Slfsig

Note : it has been shown statistically that this method of combining wave frequency and low

frequency motions defined in this manner would be exceeded on average once in every 3 hr

storm. An alternative to this approach is a time domain simulation, usually several

simulations performed with statistical establishment of maximums

Quasi – Static Analysis:

Statistics of Peak Values

• Significant Value = 2 (RMS Value)

• Max Value = Sqrt [2(ln N)] (RMS value)

where N = number of waves during the storm = T / Ta

T= specified storm period in seconds (usually 3hrs)

Ta = average zero crossing period in seconds

eg for 3 hr storm, Tz=10seconds, Maximum =1.86

period of the vessel Tn which can be estimated by:

Tn = 2 π Sqrt (m/k)

m= vessel displacement

k = mooring system stiffness at mean position

Quasi – Static Analysis:

Line Tension Definition

Mean Tension is defined as the tension corresponding to the mean offset of

the vessel.

Maximum Tension is defined as mean tension plus appropriately

combined wave frequency and low frequency tensions.

Let Tmean = mean tension

Tmax = maximum tension

Twfmax = maximum wave frequency tension

Twfsig = significant wave frequency tension

Tlfmax = maximum low frequency tension

Tlfsig = significant low frequency tension

If Tlfmax>Twfmax , then:

Tmax = Tmean+ Tlfmax+Twfsig

If Twfmax>Tlfmax , then:

Tmax = Tmean+ Twfmax+Tlfsig

Quasi – Static Analysis:

Line Tension Definition

Load from?

the mooring system as a whole as well as

individual line tensions.

•For most highly loaded lines, need to determine

the suspended catenary distance

•Catenary calculations normally performed by

software. Can be done by hand (see over for

catenary formulae)

Î PREPARE GRAPH OF TENSION Vs

OFFSET (& SUSPENDED LINE LENGTH)

Line Tension

• Catenary equation

Th ⎛ ⎛ wx ⎞ ⎞

z+h = ⎜ cosh ⎜ ⎟ − 1⎟

w⎝ ⎝ Th ⎠ ⎠

• Maximum tension

Tmax = Th + wh

• Suspended (Minimum) length

Notation:

T

lmin = g 2 max − 1 T- line tension (N)

wh

h – water depth (m)

w – line weight in water (N/m)

Line Tension

Definition

1. From Total force & vessel

restoring force curve

determine…

2. Mean offset

3. Determine Smax as a function

of Low frequency & Wave

frequency offsets

4. From Smax & Most loaded line

tension force curve determine

Maximum Mooring force

1

2 3

Anchor Load

Definition

Where do we get Anchor Load from?

of mooring line ) x (water depth) - friction

between mooring line and seabed

Where:

Friction between mooring and seabed = friction coefficient x unit

submerged weight of mooring line x Length

on seabed

Mooring Line Design

Criteria

Anchor Point Criteria

Factors of safety for various

anchors, conditions and analysis

methods

Recap

Design Criteria

(Environment,

allowable offsets etc)

;

Determine Environmental Effects

1. Steady State Environmental Forces

2. Determine Low Frequency

Motions ;

3. Determine Wave Frequency

Motions

Determine Mooring

Tensions / Offsets ;

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