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Bassam A. Younis

a,

*

, Vlado P. Przulj

b

a

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

b

Ricardo Software, Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex BN43 5FG, UK

Received 20 October 2004; accepted 6 April 2005

Available online 25 July 2005

Abstract

This paper describes the extension of a uid-ow simulations method to capture the free surface

evolution around a full-scale Tension Leg Platform (TLP). The focus is on the prediction of the

resulting hydrodynamic loading on the various elements of the TLP in turbulent ow conditions and,

in particular, on quantifying the effects of the free surface distortion on this loading. The basic

method uses nite-volume techniques to discretize the differential equations governing conservation

of mass and momentum in three dimensions. The time-averaged forms of the equations are used, and

the effects of turbulence are accounted for by using a two-equation, eddy-viscosity closure. The

method is extended here via the incorporation of surface-tracking algorithm on a moving grid to

predict the free-surface shape. The algorithm was checked against experimental measurements from

two benchmark ows: the ow over a submerged semi-circular cylinder and the ow around a

oating parabolic hull. Predictions of forces on a model TLP were then obtained both with and

without allowing for the deformation of the free surface. The results suggest that the free surface

effects on the hydrodynamic loads are small for the values of Froude number typically encountered

in offshore engineering practice.

q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Computational uid dynamics; TLP; Free surface effects; Turbulence

Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204

www.elsevier.com/locate/oceaneng

0029-8018/$ - see front matter q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2005.04.007

* Corresponding author. Tel.: C1 530 754 6417; fax: C1 530 752 7872.

E-mail address: bayounis@ucdavis.edu (B.A. Younis).

1. Introduction

Tension Leg Platforms (TLP) are structures that are frequently deployed for deepwater

oil and gas operations in benign sea areas. They consist of a oating structure formed of

a working platform and oatation and storage members which are anchored to the sea bed

by pretensioned lines. An example of one, and the focus of the present study, is shown in

Fig. 10. An important parameter that inuences the design of such structures is the

maximum offset which arises from the combined action of wind, currents and waves.

While it is difcult to ascertain the exact contribution of each of these effects, it is

generally agreed that, for deepwater operations in benign areas, no less than 60% of the

total offset is due to the action of currents alone and hence the need for accurate prediction

of loading due to a steady uniform current. Even for the case of a steady uniform current,

the ow past the TLP is quite complex and difcult to predict to the degree of accuracy

required in engineering design. The complexity arises from the large-scale and often

unsteady separation from the various members of the TLP and from the non-linear wake

interactions that are often made more complicated by the presence of vortex shedding. The

sources of uncertainty in the numerical predictions are many. These include factors that

determine numerical uncertainty (e.g. grid resolution and choice of discretization scheme)

and others that determine physical realism such as the choice of mathematical model to

account for the effects of turbulence. To these must be added here the precise role played

by the free surface in determining the details of the pressure eld in its vicinity and,

consequently, the hydrodynamic forces exerted on the various components of the TLP.

Younis et al. (2001) used a three-dimensional NavierStokes method to estimate the forces

on the same full-scale TLP considered in this study. As is often the practice in engineering

computations, the free surface was treated as a xed plane of symmetry with slip boundary

conditions (the so-called rigid-lid approximation). This allowed the calculations to be

carried out in steady-state mode. That study was aimed at assessment of the numerical and

modeling factors that inuence the quality of the predictions. The assumption of a xed

free surface was recognized as being a major limitation whose precise role was worthy of

further study.

The present paper reports on the outcome of work carried out to remove the limitation

in the method of Younis et al. (2001) in order to capture the evolution of the free surface

and thus determine its inuence on the lift and drag forces acting upon the TLP. The

motivation is to assess whether the computation of the hydrodynamic loading is

signicantly inuenced by free surface effects at values of Froude number that are

representative of those found in offshore engineering practice. It would be reasonable to

expect, and important to conrm that, for sufciently low values of Froude number, the

curvature of the free surface would not be so severe as to invalidate the rigid-lid

approximation. This is the case, for example, when a pair of vortices generated below the

free surface interact with it-as can be seen from the experimental study of Ohring and Lugt

(1991) and from the numerical simulations by Yu and Tryggvason (1990). There is, of

course, no reason to assume that the same would apply for the more complex case of the

TLP which, to date, does not appear to have been studied in much detail. In this paper, we

describe the extension of the Younis et al. (2001) method to handle a moving free surface

and show the extent to which this impacts the computed results.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 182

2. Computational method

2.1. Governing equations

The method of Younis et al. (2001) is based on the solution of the differential equations

that govern the conservation of uid mass and momentum in three dimensions. For the

case of an unsteady incompressible ow these equations are:

Continuity:

vU

i

vx

i

Z0 (1)

Momentum:

vU

i

vt

CU

j

vU

i

vx

j

Z

v

vx

j

n

vU

i

vx

j

Ku

i

u

j

_ _

K

1

r

vp

vx

i

(2)

In the above U

i

is the mean-velocity vector, p is the static pressure and r and n are,

respectively, the uids density and kinematic viscosity. Conventional Cartesian-tensor

notation is used wherein repeated indices imply summation.

As is usual in the simulation of practically relevant ows at high Reynolds numbers, the

continuity and momentum equations have been averaged over a time interval Dt:

U

i

Z

1

Dt

_

tCDt

t

^

U

i

dt (3)

where

^

U

i

signies instantaneous value. Dt is taken here to be the computational time step.

The implication of this averaging process is that uid motions having time scale greater

than Dt are captured directly while motions having time scale smaller than the

computational time step would be ltered out and their effect will then need to be

accounted for via a turbulence closure. This averaging is quite distinct from the Reynolds

averaging (which is appropriate only for steady ows, i.e. in the limit of Dt/N). It is also

distinct from ensemble averaging which requires the period of oscillations to be known a

priori. The sole requirement for the validity of the present averaging practice is that the

computational time step should be signicantly greater than the time scale associated with

the turbulent uctuations. This is immediately satised in the present ow where the

mean-ow Reynolds number is of O(10

6

). Nevertheless, and irrespective of the precise

interpretation placed on the averaging process, the nal outcome is the same; namely, the

appearance in the resulting Reynolds-averaged NavierStokes equations of unknown

Reynolds stress correlations Ku

i

u

j

which will rst need to be determined before solution

of the governing equations becomes possible.

2.2. Turbulence modeling

To determine the unknown Reynolds stresses, we adopt the same turbulence model as

Younis et al. (2001); namely a two-equation model based on the Boussinesq assumption of

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 183

linear stressstrain relation:

Ku

i

u

j

Zn

t

vU

i

vx

j

C

vU

j

vx

i

_ _

K

2

3

d

ij

k (4)

The eddy viscosity n

t

is dened in terms of two turbulence parameters: the turbulence

kinetic energy (k) and its rate of dissipation by viscous action (3):

n

t

ZC

m

k

2

3

(5)

k and 3 are determined from the solution of their own differential transport equations.

These equations have the form:

vk

vt

CU

j

vk

vx

j

Z

v

vx

j

n

t

s

k

vk

vx

j

_ _

CP

k

K3 (6)

v3

vt

CU

j

v3

vx

j

Z

v

vx

j

n

t

s

3

v3

vx

j

_ _

CC

31

3

k

P

k

KC

32

3

2

k

KR

where P

k

is the production of the turbulent kinetic energy:

P

k

ZKu

i

u

j

vU

i

vx

j

(7)

The term R in the above is absent from the standard k3 model (Launder and Spalding,

1974). It is included in a widely used variant of the k3 model; the RNG (Renormalization

Group) formulation where it is dened as:

R Z

C

m

h

3

1 Kh=h

o

1 Cbh

3

3

2

k

; h ZS

k

3

; S Z

1

2

vU

i

vx

j

C

vU

j

vx

i

_ _

2

(8)

The complete turbulence models contain a number of coefcients whose value depend on

the variant used:

Model C

m

s

k

s

3

C

31

C

32

b h

o

Standard 0.09 1.0 1.3 1.45 1.90

RNG 0.0845 0.72 0.72 1.42 1.68 0.012 4.38

Both turbulence models are of the high turbulence Reynolds number variety and are

thus only applicably in the fully turbulent regions of the ow, away from the walls. The

near-wall region is treated by assuming that the ow there can be described by the

universal, logarithmic, law of the wall. The alternative is to use a low Reynolds-number

version of the model and carry out the computations through the viscous sub-layer directly

to the wall. However, this would not be a viable proposition for the computation of ows

around full-scale structures at high Reynolds numbers.

2.3. Solution methodology and boundary conditions

The solution methodology, which is described in detail in Younis and Przulj (1993),

utilizes a nite-volume method for the solution of the generalised ow equations in

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 184

arbitrary domains. The method is based on a term-by-term integration of the governing

equations over micro control volumes sub-dividing the solution domain. In the original

formulation, temporal discretization was by using the rst-order accurate Euler scheme.

This proved to be inadequate for the accurate tracking the deformable free surface and was

replaced here by an implicit second-order accurate scheme. In this scheme, the time

derivative at the new time level t

iC1

was evaluated by tting a quadratic function through

the values of the dependent variable at three time levels (Ferziger and Peric, 2002), viz.

_

t

iC1

C

Dt

2

t

iC1

K

Dt

2

vF

vt

dt Z

3F

iC1

K4F

i

CF

iK1

2

(9)

where F stands for any of the dependent variables in the above equations. The

implementation of this scheme was checked by the prediction of vortex shedding from

square and circular cylinders at high Reynolds numbers and was found to be both robust

and accurate. The diffusive uxes were approximated using second-order accurate central

differencing. The convective uxes were approximated using the third-order accurate

SMART scheme (Gaskell and Lau, 1988) which was found by Teigen et al. (1999) to

produce accurate results with the least number of grid nodes. The resulting set of linear

algebraic equations was solved using a modied version of Stones (1968) lowerupper

decomposition algorithm. The overall solution strategy is iterative and is based on the

SIMPLE (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations) algorithm of Patankar

and Spalding (1972) which ensures that the calculated ow eld satises, simultaneously,

both the Continuity and momentum equations. The method was modied as detailed in

Ferziger and Peric (2002) to prevent pressurevelocity decoupling when used in

conjunction with colocated variable storage. A multi-block solution methodology was

adopted wherein each block was meshed separately with no requirement for the separate

grids to match at the block interfaces. Both block-structured and unstructured grids could

be used, with arbitrary polyhedral control volumes. Example grid for a full-scale TLP can

be seen in Fig. 10. The complete mesh was constructed within 47 separate blocks in order

to avoid the unnecessary placement of nodes within the TLP itself. The resulting node

distribution is highly non-uniform, with the greatest concentration being in the vicinity of

the TLP where sharp gradients exist.

Prediction of the free-surface movement was achieved by implementation of an

interface-tracking algorithm based on that described in Muzaferija and Peric (1997). This

entailed re-casting the governing equations above in a form applicable to a domain

bounded by a moving surface. Thus, for surface S moving at velocity V

s

, the continuity and

momentum equations become:

d

dt

_

V

d Vol C

_

S

U

i

KV

s

n

i

d S Z0;

d

dt

_

V

U

i

d Vol C

_

S

U

j

U

i

KV

s

n

i

d S Z

_

S

T

ij

n

i

d S

(10)

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 185

where n

i

is the outward-pointing unit vector normal to the surface S and T

ij

is the stress

tensor (Eq. (2)).

In order to prevent the generation of a spurious velocity due to grid movement, an

additional equation was introduced to enforce space conservation at each time step

(Demirdzic and Peric, 1990):

d

d t

_

V

d Vol K

_

S

V

s

n

i

d S Z0 (11)

Two boundary conditions were imposed at the free surface: the kinematic condition

which ensures that there is no convective mass transfer through the free boundary:

U

i

KV

s

n

i

Z0 (12)

and the dynamic condition which requires the forces acting on either side of the free

surface to be in equilibrium. By neglecting the normal components of the total stress

across the free surface, this requires setting the static pressure at the free surface to equal

the atmospheric pressure. This value was then used to calculate the uid velocity at the

free surface from a reduced momentum balance (Ferziger and Peric, 2002). This is an

iterative procedure designed to ensure that both kinematic and dynamic conditions are

simultaneously satised. The kinematic condition is subsequently used in conjunction

with the space conservation law to displace the boundary cell faces to a new position. This

sequence forms part of an overall iteration cycle which includes the SIMPLE algorithm.

Iterations were performed at each new time level till a fully converged surface prole was

obtained and the total mass and momentum conserved over the entire solution domain.

The normal gradients of k across the free surface were set equal to zero. For 3, there is

some uncertainty about the best choice of boundary conditions at the free surface. A

number of different alternatives were therefore used with the objective of quantifying the

sensitivity of the computations to the choice of boundary condition. Amongst the

alternatives examined was the specication of a zero normal gradient. Another alternative

was based on a simplied form of its transport equation there (Cokljat and Younis, 1995).

By neglecting convection and retaining diffusion only in the direction normal to the free

surface (which would be consistent with a fully developed ow in a broad open channel),

the 3-transport equation simplies to:

v

vz

n

t

s

3

v3

vz

_ _

CC

3

1

3

k

P

k

KC

3

2

3

2

k

(13)

where z is the coordinate direction normal to the free surface. Furthermore, if k is taken as

constant across the thin layer adjacent to the free surface (which would be consistent with

the zero normal gradient condition) and 3 assumed to vary with z

Kn

then Eq. (13) reduces

to the following simple expression for the values of 3 at the free surface:

3

f

Z0:197n

1=2

k

3=2

f

Dn

f

(14)

where the subscript f denotes value at the free surface and Dn is the normal distance from

the cell centre to the free surface. The value of the index n cannot be determined with great

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 186

condence from the few detailed measurements of the turbulence eld below a free

surface reported in the literature though a value of unity seems to produce an acceptable

match. An assessment of the sensitivity of the results to the value of n will be presented in

Section 3.

The remaining boundary conditions for the TLP case were specied as follows. The

inlet to the computation domain was located a distance of 14 column diameters (D)

upstream of the TLP. There, the incident current was assumed to be uniform in the vertical

direction with velocity U

o

. The turbulence kinetic energy was deduced by prescribing a

uniform local relative intensity level (hu

0

/U

o

) of 0.05 and then by assuming that

turbulence at inlet is isotropic which implies kZ3/2u

02

. The dissipation rate was specied

by inverting the eddy-viscosity relation (Eq. (5)) and by specifying the ratio of turbulent to

molecular viscosity to be 10. The assumption of nite turbulence intensity in the incident

current is necessary to prevent the turbulence kinetic energy from becoming negative at

small distances downstream of the inlet where the dissipation rate is nite but the

turbulence production rate is still zero due to the absence of shear. At exit from the

computational domain, which was located at distance of 32D from the TLP, the ow was

assumed to be fully re-established in the streamwise direction and thus all the gradients in

that direction were set equal to zero.

The planes that dene the width of the computational domain were located at distance

16.3D from each side of the TLPs centerline. The boundary conditions applied there are

similar to those for the exit plane. Values of the wall friction at the sea bed (which was

located at distance 6.5D from the base of the pontoons) and on the TLP itself were used to

provide the wall boundary conditions for the momentum equations. Both surfaces were

assumed to be smooth and the wall friction was thus evaluated from the standard log-law:

U

u

t

Z

1

k

ln E

u

t

n

n

_ _

(15)

where u

t

is the friction velocity and n is the normal distance from the wall. k (the von

Karman constant) and E were assigned the usual values of 0.41 and 9.0, respectively.

3. Results and discussion

We rst checked the complete computational model together with the free-surface

tracking algorithm by obtaining predictions for two benchmark ows: the ow in an open

channel with a semi-circular cylinder placed at the bottom and the ow around a parabolic

hull. The geometry of the rst test ow is dened in Fig. 1. Different ow regimes may

develop downstream of the cylinder depending on the value of Froude number upstream of

it. The interest here is in the critical case with sub-critical ow Fr hU

0

=

gH

p

!1

upstream of the cylinder and super-critical ow Fr

d

hU

d

=

gH

p

O1 downstream of it.

Numerical predictions (based on potential ow analysis) and experimental results for this

ow have been reported by Forbes (1988).

The inlet plane was located at distance 10D upstream of the cylinder. Uniform

distributions of velocity and of turbulence intensity (Z0.05) were assumed there and

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 187

the dissipation rate 3 deduced as described earlier. At the free-surface, the normal

gradients of all the dependent variables were set equal to zero. The outlet plane was at

distance 3D downstream of the cylinder. There, the streamwise gradients of all dependent

variables were set equal to zero and a self-adjusted pressure boundary condition was

employed wherein the outlet pressure was obtained by linear extrapolation of values

computed at two adjacent interior nodes. In order to enforce the critical ow solution, the

computations were started with a pre-specied pressure at the outlet, whose value

corresponds to the super-critical conditions. This value is calculated from the approximate

relation (Naghdi and Vongsarnpigoon, 1986):

p

out

ZrgHg; g Z

h

H

z

Fr

2

4

1 C 1 C

8

Fr

2

_ _

1=2

_ _

: (16)

Once the downstream level hzgH was reached, (which, in the present calculations,

occurred after z1.4 s), the values of pressure at the outlet plane were switched to the self-

adjusted values. At tZ0, the velocity was set everywhere to its value at the inlet plane and

the free-surface was taken to be horizontal.

In order to compare with the data of Forbes (1988), predictions were obtained for three

sets of the upstream conditions. Those are dened in Table 1.

The values of R/H are quite close to those reported in the experiments. The upstream

values of Froude number Fr were not reported. The measured values of h/H were therefore

used to determine the approximate values of Fr. This was done by using Bernoullis

equation, written for the upstream and downstream sections, to obtain:

Fr Z

h

H

2

1 C

h

H

_ _

1=2

(17)

From knowledge of R/H and Fr, the height H and the inlet velocities could then be

calculated. The radius was assigned the same value as in the experiments, viz. RZ0.03 m.

Two grids were used for this test ow. One had a total of 2096 active nodes and another

with 7744 active nodes. Both grids were generated in three separate blocks. The ner grid

had a total of 80 nodes in direct contact with the cylinders wall. Inspection of the computed

Fig. 1. Geometry for the free surface ow over a semi-circular cylinder.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 188

results showed that the nodes closest to the wall were at distances (in wall coordinates) in

the range 6!Y*!23. The time-step size was DtZ0.001 s.

The initial distribution of the ner grid is shown in Fig. 2. The nal (steady state)

distribution of the same grid, which was arrived at after a period T of 21.4 s, is shown in

the same gure. Although the nal grid is very skewed near the free surface downstream

of the cylinder, no convergence problems were encountered during the solution cycle and

the resulting free-surface prole showed no signs of discontinuity. Tests were carried out

to check the sensitivity of the solutions on the grid size and on the choice of

discretization scheme. Sample results are presented in Fig. 3. Plotted there are the free-

surface proles as obtained on the two grids and using both rst- and third-order accurate

differencing schemes. While the effects of grid renement are small, there are no visible

differences when the two differencing schemes are used with the ne grid. The present

results predict separation to occur at about 1508a value which is in good accord with

observations.

All the remaining runs for this test case (Table 1) were performed using the ner grid

together with the third-order accurate scheme. The predicted piezometric pressure

distribution for the case of FrZ0.336 is shown in Fig. 4. The predicted free-surface

proles are presented in Fig. 5. The gure also shows the results for three sets of upstream

values of Fr. As expected, the downstream water level increases with the upstream level

(i.e. with Fr). For the case of R/HZ0.435, the computational and experimental conditions

are very similar and the predicted and measured proles can be compared. It is clear that

the computations are in close accord with the data, especially in the region of rapid free-

surface variation. The computed downstream free-surface levels corresponding to the

three inlet conditions are compared in Fig. 6 with the measurements of Forbes (1988). The

agreement is again fairly good with maximum relative difference being of the order of 5%.

This is quite an acceptable result especially bearing in mind the uncertainty associated

with the absence of experimentally reported values of Fr. The potential-ow results of

Forbes are plotted in the same gure; their proximity to both the measurements and the

turbulence-model predictions suggests that turbulent mixing plays only a secondary role in

determining the behavior of this ow.

The second test ow considered is the Wigley parabolic hull for which extensive

experimental data exist (Anon, 1983). The shape of this hull is made of parabolic curves in

(x, y) and (y, z) coordinate planes described by Eq. (18):

y Z

B

2

1 K

2x

L

_ _

2

_ _

1 K

z

D

_ _

2

_ _

; (18)

Table 1

Upstream ow conditions for the ow over a semi-circular cylinder

R/H Fr H (m) U

0

(m/s) ReZU

0

2R/n

0.300 0.540 0.100 0.535 32,100

0.400 0.373 0.075 0.320 19,200

0.435 0.336 0.069 0.276 16,560

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 189

The length (in the x-direction) is LZ1 m, the width (in the z-direction) is BZ0.1L and

the depth is DZ0.0625L. Comparisons are presented for the case with Froude number

(based on L) of 0.267. This corresponds to a uniform inlet velocity of U

0

Z0.8363 m/s and

a Reynolds number (also based on L) of 836,300.

Computations were performed on three numerical grids that were generated within six

blocks. Only the nodes of the blocks immediately below the free surface were moved at

each time step to track the evolution of the free surface. Grid details are given in Table 2.

The values of Y* shown there denote the range of the distances, in wall coordinates, from

the hull to the center of the control volumes in contact with it.

All the computations which were carried on the three different grids, with both rst- and

second-order accurate schemes and with time-step size in the range 0.01!Dt!0.002

Fig. 2. Free surface ow over a semi-circular obstacle at FrZ0.336 and R/HZ0.435: initial grid (top) and

(middle) and the nal shape of the grid (bottom).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 190

yielded steady-state solutions around the Wigley hull. This can be seen from Fig. 7 which

presents the time histories of the total (piezometric pressureCviscous) drag coefcient C

D

and the viscous drag coefcient C

Dv

. The plots show that the ow becomes essentially

steady after approximately 60 s from the start of the calculations. Beyond this time, the

normalized residuals of all the dependent variables fell below 4.0!10

K5

after only one

iteration.

The results obtained with the three grids in conjunction with the third-order

accurate scheme and the RNG kK3 model are presented in Fig. 8 where the

Fig. 3. Semi-circular obstacle. Effects of the grid renement and convective schemes on the computed free-

surface shape.

Fig. 4. Pressure distribution for the ow over a semi-circular obstacle (FrZ0.336, R/HZ0.435).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 191

computed free surface proles along the hull are compared with experimental data.

The predicted proles with the ne or medium grids agree very well with the

measured one. The coarse-grid results show some variation, especially in the region

ahead of the hull. A further check grid independence is provided with reference to the

Fig. 5. Semi-circular obstacle. The free-surface shape as computed at different upstream Froude numbers and

upstream water levels.

Fig. 6. Flow over a semi-circular obstacle. Comparison of computed free-surface downstream levels with

experimental and numerical data of Forbes (1988).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 192

hulls viscous drag coefcient. In ITTC-57-Formel (1957), the following expression

for this quantity is proposed:

C

Dv

Z

0:075

logRe K2

2

: (19)

Table 2

Grid details for the Wigley hull

Grid size Active CVs CVs over hull Y*

37!12!22 9700 20 48227

72!24!42 72500 40 1125

108!38!68 279000 60 824

Fig. 7. Wigley hull. Time histories of the total and viscous drag coefcients.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 193

Table 3 compares the present results with the above equation. The differences

between the medium and ne grid results are clearly very small; both are also in

close agreement with the ITTC correlations.

Next, we assess the sensitivity of the predictions to the choice of turbulence model and

free-surface boundary conditions for the dissipation rate equation. Of particular interest is

the effect of the above parameters on the predicted free-surface prole. Sample results are

presented in Fig. 9 (top). Plotted there are the results for the relative free surface elevation

z/L (zZ0 denes the initial free surface level) as obtained with the standard and the RNG

versions of the kK3 model. It is clear that the free surface prole is not particularly

affected by the choice of turbulence model. This turns out to be the case also for the choice

of boundary condition for 3, as can be seen from Fig. 9 (bottom). The designation FS-BC0

there refers to the boundary condition proposed by The et al. (1994) and Hagiwara (1989)

wherein the value of the dissipation rate at the near-surface is determined from:

3

f

Z

C

3=4

m

k

3=2

f

kDn

f

; (20)

where C

m

Z0.09 and kZ0.41. FS-BC1 is the boundary condition given by Eq. (14) with

nZ1. Note that the boundary condition given by Eq. (20) is obtained simply by setting

Table 3

Predicted and measured viscous drag coefcient C

Dv

Grid Computed C

Dv

!10

3

(A) ITTC-57 C

Dv

!10

3

(B) (AKB)/B (%)

9700 3.189 4.875 K34.6

72500 4.363 4.875 K10.5

279000 4.435 4.875 K9.0

Fig. 8. Effect of the grid renement on the free surface prole along the hull.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 194

nZ4 in Eq. (14). FS-BC2 refers to the case where 3 is not xed at the free-surface nodes

but is calculated there by applying the zero-gradient condition. The results for all three

types of boundary conditions are indistinguishable which again suggests that the

turbulence effects play only a minor role in determining the shape of the free surface.

Attention is now turned to consideration of the ow around the full-scale TLP. A

schematic representation of this structure is shown in Fig. 10 which also serves to dene

the coordinate system. This is the same TLP that was the subject of earlier studies (Teigen

et al., 1999; Younis et al., 2001) in which the rigid-lid approximation was employed.

Fig. 9. Effects of the turbulence model (top) and free surface boundary conditions for the dissipation (bottom) on

the free surface prole along the hull.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 195

In Fig. 10, S is the columns center-to-center separation. B is the pontoon height and H is

the column height. The actual dimensions used in the present simulations are given in

Table 4.

The TLP members are identied by the numbers shown in Fig. 10. The pontoons are

numbered (1, 2, 3, 4), the circular bases are numbered (5, 6, 7, 8) and the and columns are

numbered (9, 10, 11, 12).

The computational grid conformed to the boundaries of the TLP (see Fig. 10) and

consisted of 415,444 active nodes arranged in 47 separate blocks. Only the nodes that lie

within the blocks above the pontoons (i.e. the top layer of blocks below the free surface-13

blocks in total) were moved during the solution process. The nodes that were common to

both the inlet and the free surface planes were moved by the same extent as the

neighboring free surface nodes. It proved impractical to conduct a systematic grid-

independence test in this ow as the computations were performed in unsteady mode and

required considerable time to adjust to the effects of the initial conditions. Teigen et al.

(1999) in their study of the same TLP found that when using the SMART scheme,

Fig. 10. TLP geometry and grid.

Table 4

Dimensions of TLP

Member Symbol Size (m)

Column diameter D 8.75

Column height H 22.25

Column separation distance S 28.5

Pontoon height B 6.25

Pontoon width W 6.25

Draught T 28.5

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 196

grid-independent solutions for the same TLP were obtained for a grid of 330,000 nodes.

The present results were also obtained with the SMART scheme and hence it would be

reasonable to expect that the solutions with 415,444 nodes are not far from being sensibly

free of grid effects. Moreover, the computations for both the xed and the deformable free

surface cases were obtained with the same numerical conditions and thus it would be

reasonable to attribute similarities and differences in their results to the treatment of the

free surface.

Predictions were obtained for two values of inlet velocity, viz. U

0

Z1 and 2 m/s. The

corresponding Froude and Reynolds numbers, dened as:

Fr Z

U

0

gH CB

p ; Re Z

rU

0

D

m

(21)

were (0.06, 3.7!10

6

), and (0.12, 1.46!10

7

), respectively

1

.

An impression of the distortion to the free-surface wrought by the surface-piercing

columns and the submerged pontoons can be gained from Fig. 11. The results shown are

for the higher of the two values of Froude number where the extent of the perturbation

above the mean water level is more prominent. The distortion to the free surface is most

clearly manifested by a signicant run-up along the stagnation line of the front columns

followed by rapid fall in the wake regions to levels below the mean water level. The

pattern is repeated for the downstream column, albeit to a lesser extent. Overall, these

perturbations are quite small relative to the overall dimensions of the TLP. Thus, for

example, the largest changes relative to the initial level (zZ0) were approximately 1.0 m

Fig. 11. View of the free-surface shape around the TLP model for FrZ0.12.

1

Sea water: (rZ1026 kg/m

3

, mZ1.2312!10

K3

kg/m s).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 197

for FrZ0.12 (falling to 0.15 m for the FrZ0.06 case). Nevertheless, the distorted free

surface can assume quite a complicated shape, as can be seen from the gure.

Fig. 12 shows the mean velocity and the piezometric pressure distributions at a

horizontal plane parallel to the free surface and immediately below it (zz0). The pressure

is normalized by the mean-ow kinetic energy at inlet. Immediately discernible are small

regions of reversed ow in the wakes of the TLP columns. Also evident is the uneven uid

acceleration on either side of the columns which leads to a shift in the location of the

separation bubble away from the TLP core. This, in turn, leads to a marked skewness of the

ow towards the downstream columns. The predicted contours of static pressure suggest

that interference effects are quite substantial with the pressure levels on the stagnation line

of the downstream column attain only about 20% of the levels found for the upstream

cylinders.

The computed ow eld are next presented in two vertical planes: one passing through

the centers of the otation pontoons (yZ0) and another passing through the middle of the

columns (9 and 10) and pontoon 1 (y/SZ0.5). The plots are presented in Fig. 13 for the

mean velocity, Fig. 14 for the static pressure and Fig. 15 for the turbulence kinetic energy.

The velocity plots indicate the formation of a region of reversed ow in between the two

columns, centered close to the pontoon with a smaller counterpart near the junction with

the free surface. Flow reversal is obtained in the wakes of both pontoons. The resulting

ow is slightly skewed towards the free surface. The contours of the turbulent kinetic

energy are seen to rise towards the free surface.

Fig. 16 shows the predicted variation with time of the in-line force coefcients on the

circular columns [9] and [10] (numbers in square brackets refer to the designation in

Fig. 10). The in-line force coefcient is dened as:

C

D

Z

F

x

1

2

rU

2

o

A

(22)

where A is the projected area of the column, i.e. D!H. Also plotted there (as solid lines)

are the values of these coefcients obtained when the moving free surface is replaced by a

rigid lid, i.e. by employing boundary conditions that are appropriate to a xed plane of

symmetry. The peak-to-peak variations in the magnitude of the in-line forces are, as

expected, more pronounced for the smaller Froude number ow. However, the

dependence of the long-time averaged value of C

D

on Fr is very weak viz. 1.150 for

the smaller value of Fr compared to 1.12 for the greater value. The same also applies to

column [10] where the average C

D

values are 0.68 and 0.63, respectively. These gure also

demonstrate the extent of the shielding on the downstream column [10] due to

modication of the ow eld brought about by the upstream column. A measure of the

coupling between the in-line force elds is provided by the correlation coefcient g:

g Z

C

0

D9

C

0

D10

C

0

D9

C

0

D10

(23)

For the case of FrZ0.06, g is obtained as 0.59. This relatively high value for the

correlation coefcient is consistent with the streamwise re-alignment of the ow

downstream of column [9].

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 198

Finally, the values of the global drag coefcient obtained with the rigid-lid

approximation and with the deformable free surface are compared in Table 5. This

quantity is dened as in Eq. (22) with A being the total projected area. Also quoted in the

Table are the results from the DNV Design Code which is often used in offshore design

X

Y

Z

F

G

H

I I

EC D

G

F

E

G D

H

I

B

A C

F

E

G

G

F

E

D

H

F G

H

G

F

H

G

H

J

K

L

M

G

H

I

J

H

K

I

G

H

J

H

I

H

H

G F

X

Y

Z

A-3

B-2.6

C-2.2

D-1.8

E-1.4

F-1

G-.6

H-.2

I.2

J.6

K1

L1.4

M1.8

9 1 0

11 12

Fig. 12. Predicted velocity and pressure distributions at the free surface.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 199

applications (Younis et al., 2001). The results obtained with both treatments of the free

surface are within about 5% of each other which conrms the relatively minor ineunce of

the free-surface curvature in this ow. As expected, the DNV result is somewhat greater as

the calculation of the global drag coefcient does not take account of the shielding effects

mentioned earlier.

Fig. 13. Predicted contours of mean velocity through the mid-plane (yZ0, top) and at pontoon half-width (yZ

0.5S).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 200

4. Conclusions

The paper described the extension of a well-validated three-dimensional NavierStokes

solver to capture the evolution of a free surface with a moving grid. The solver was previously

used in a detailed study of the hydrodynamic loading on a submerged full-scale TLP.

Fig. 14. Predicted contours of piezometric pressure through the mid-plane (yZ0, top) and at pontoon half-width

(yZ0.5S).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 201

Predictions reported here demonstrate the validity of the free-surface tracking algorithm via

comparisons with experimental data obtained in the turbulent ow over a semi-circular

cylinder and around a parabolic hull. The present results show that the predicted

hydrodynamic loading on a full-scale mini TLP is not too dependent on curvature of

Fig. 15. Predicted contours of turbulence kinetic energy through the mid-plane (yZ0, top) and at pontoon half-

width (yZ0.5S).

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 202

the free surface, at least not at the lowvalues of Froude number encountered in practice. Apart

from some small changes in the loading on the surface-piercing columns, loading on the

pontoons, whichrepresents a signicant proportionof the total loading, was hardlyaffectedby

movement of the free surface. This nding is of immense relevance to the practical

computations for design purposes for it indicates that the use of the computationally more

efcient and robust no-slip boundary condition is quite appropriate in these applications.

References

Anon, 1983. Cooperative experiments on Wigley parabolic models in Japan, 17th ITTC Resistance Committee

Report, second ed., University of Tokyo, Japan, Chapters 3 and 5 (cited by Farmer et al., 1994).

Table 5

Predicted C

D

for model TLP

Technique Re C

D

Rigid lid approximation 6!10

7

1.39

Deformable free surface 6!10

7

1.32

DNV design code 8.84!10

6

1.61

Fig. 16. Predicted time history of in-line loading on columns 9 and 10. FrZ0.06, FrZ0.12. Horizontal lines show

results for rigid-lid approximation.

B.A. Younis, V.P. Przulj / Ocean Engineering 33 (2006) 181204 203

Cokljat, D., Younis, B.A., 1995. Second-order closure study of open-channel ows. J. Hydraulics Eng. 121, 94

107.

Demirdzic, I., Peric, M., 1990. Finite volume method for prediction of uid ow in arbitrarily shaped domains

with moving grids. Int. J. Numer. Methods Fluids 10, 771790.

DNV Classication Note, 1993. Environmental conditions and environmental loads, No. 30.5.

Farmer, J., Martinelli, L., Jameson, A., 1994. Fast multigrid method for solving incompressible hydrodynamic

problems with free surfaces. AIAA J. 32, 11751182.

Ferziger, J.H., Peric, M., 2002. Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics, third ed. Springer, Berlin.

Forbes, L.K., 1988. Critical free-surface ow over a semi-circular obstruction. J. Eng. Math. 2, 313.

Gaskell, P.H., Lau, A.K.C., 1988. Curvature compensated convective transport: SMART. A new boundedness

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Naghdi, P.M., Vongsarnpigoon, L., 1986. The downstream ow beyond an obstacle. J. Fluid. Mech. 162, 223

236.

Ohring, S., Lugt, H.J., 1991. Interaction of a viscous vortex pair with a free surface. J. Fluid Mech. 227, 4770.

Patankar, S.V., Spalding, D.B., 1972. A calculation procedure for heat, mass and momentum transfer in three-

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Stone, H.L., 1968. Iterative solution of implicit approximations of multi-dimensional partial differential

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