Motion and wave load analyses of large offshore structures and special vessels in waves
Predictions of the environmental loading and induced motional and structural responses are among the most important aspects in the overall design process of offshore structures and ships. In this thesis, attention is focused on the wave loads and excited bodily motion responses of large offshore structures and special vessels. With the aim of improving the existing theoretical methods to provide techniques of theoretical effectiveness, computational efficiency, and engineering practicality in marine and offshore applications, the thesis concentrates upon describing fundamental and essential aspects in the physical phenomenon associated with wave-structure interactions and deriving new methods and techniques to analyse offshore structures and unconventional ships of practical interest. The total wave force arising from such a wave-structural interaction is assumed to be a simple superposition of the potential and the viscous flow force components. The linear potential forces are solved by the Green function integral equation whilst the viscous forces are estimated based on the Morison's damping formula. Forms of the Green function integral equation and the associated Green function are given systematically for various practical cases. The relevant two-dimensional versions are then derived by a transformation procedure. Techniques are developed to solve the integral equation numerically including the interior integral formulation and, in particular, to tackle the mathematical difficulties at irregular frequencies. In applying the integral equations to solve problems with various offshore structures and special vessels, some modified, improved or simplified methods are proposed. At first, simplified method is derived for predictions of the surge, sway and yaw motions of elongated bodies of full sectional geometry or structures with shallow draft. Then, a new shallow draft theory is described for both three- and two-dimensional cases with inclusion of the finite draft effect. Furthermore, a three-dimensional strip method is formulated where the end effects of the body are fully taken into account. Finally, an approximation to the horizontal mean drift forces of multi-column offshore structures are presented. Some new findings are also discussed including the multiple resonances occurring in the motions of multi-hulled marine structures due to the wave-body interaction, the mutual cancellation effect of the diffraction and the radiation forces arising from a full shaped slender body, and so on. Further to those verification studies for individual methods developed, more comprehensive example investigations are given related to two industrial applications. One is a derrick barge semi-submersible with zero forward speed; and the other, a SWATH ship with considerable speed. By correlation of all the proposed approaches with available analytical, numerical and experimental data, the thesis tries to demonstrate a principle that as long as principal physical aspects in the wave-structure interaction problem are properly treated, an appropriately modified or simplified method works, performs well and, sometimes, even better.