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Proceedings of The Thirteenth (2003) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, May 25 30,

2003 Copyright 2003 by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers ISBN 1 880653 -60 5 (Set); ISSN 1098 6189 (Set)

Evaluation of the 3D Flow Dynamics in a Moonpool


C. Maisondieu1, P. Ferrant2
1 IFREMER Service Hydrodynamique Applique Plouzan, France

2 Ecole Centrale de Nantes Laboratoire de Mcanique des Fluides UMR CNRS 6598 Nantes, France

ABSTRACT

The flow dynamics in a moonpool is evaluated through analysis of experimental and numerical time series of surface elevations. Experimental results are obtained in the context of the interaction of irregular waves with the barge. The excitation of natural sloshing and piston modes is investigated as well as wave transmission in the bay. Dedicated numerical simulations of extinction tests of piston and sloshing modes are also performed, using a time domain potential flow solver. Three-dimensional effects are pointed out and a good agreement is found between experimental, numerical and analytical estimations of the moonpool natural frequencies.
KEY WORDS: Moonpool, Natural modes, Experimental testing Numerical modelling, Non-linear three dimensional flow, Potential theory. INTRODUCTION

developped from an existing fully non linear potential flow model (Ferrant, 1998). Decay tests of the piston and sloshing modes in the moonpool are performed and natural periods are compared to analytical solutions and experimental results.
EXPERIMENTS

Recent studies on flow dynamics in moonpools of FPSOs or barges showed that 3D effects cannot be neglected, (Maisondieu & Le Boulluec 2001), and are to be investigated, especially when the bay is large compared to the size of the floating unit itself. Natural sloshing and vertical modes in the bay, which can be considered as a bottomless tank, may be excited by pressure fluctuations along the hull induced by the travelling waves or by the motions of the barge. Such water motions in the moonpool can alter the response of the floating structure and possible coupling, mostly with heave, roll and pitch motions are likely to occur. Evaluation of the flow in the bay and below is also of major interest for the design and the distribution of the aircans fixed to the upper part of the risers as tensionning floats. In order to get a better understanding of the flow, both relative and absolute water elevations are considered. A numerical model of such a barge with large moonpool is

Tests were carried out on a model of the Wellhead Barge (WHB), which is designed with an unusually large moonpool. The experimental set-up is described in Maisondieu & Le Boulluec, 2001. The length of the bay is approximately 45% of the overall length of the barge and its width is one third of the beam. Twelve specifically designed capacitive gauges are placed in the moonpool in order to evaluate the water elevations, according to the scheme presented on figure 1. A set of three gauges is placed at each end of the moonpool at five millimeters from the bulkheads, along the transversal axis. Another set is placed amidst and the last is placed at the quarter of the total length of the bay. With such a layout, gauges are placed at nodal and antinodal points of a large number of resonant modes, including first sloshing and piston modes, the most likely to occur since in the range of wave periods. An extra set of four gauges is placed along the left outer freeboard to control the transmission of waves outside the bay.
16 15 14 y 9 8 7 6 z5 4 x 3 2 1 13

12 11 10

Fig. 1 : Location of water elevation control points on the model

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A wave gauge is placed a few meters away from the model at the same abscissa as its centre of gravity along the wave propagation axis. It is used for the measurement of incoming waves used as a reference.
Barge Dynamics

where possible coupling with motions is possible. For instance, as can be seen on comparison of FFT amplitudes of relative and absolute elevations i and i plotted on figure 4, the peak observed at 1.04 Hz on the measured signal i corresponds to the heave motion of the barge since it is not present in the spectrum of the absolute elevation. In the case of rear seas (Fig 3), there is little vertical motion, and the peak observed at that same frequency for both elevations corresponds to the first sloshing mode. Fourier analysis of the gauges vertical motion shows that there is almost no response at frequencies higher than 1.2Hz whatever the heading of the barge. Therefore, spectra of relative and absolute elevation are superimposable at these high frequencies as shown on figures 3 and 4 below.
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The barge is tested in regular and irregular waves for 3 headings, rear, beam and quarter seas. The motions of the barge in six degrees of freedom are recorded. The relevant features of the barge dynamics identified from transfer functions (Fig. 2) are a natural response in heave at 1.04 Hz, coupled with pitch at 1.1 Hz and a roll peak response at 0.8 Hz with a secondary peak at about 1.6 Hz. These features are of great interest since, as seen from results in tables one and two, they correspond to coupling with natural modes.
Barge dynamics Transfer functions
1
Rear seas Beam seas Norm. Wave DSP

measurement absolute elevation gauge vertical motion

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Fig. 2 : Barge Dynamics Transfer Functions


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Absolute water elevations

In order to go further in the understanding of the flow in the bay, it is necessary to consider absolute water elevations. These are also needed for the comparison with numerical results for which the water elevations are given in a fixed referential. They can be derived from recorded time series of water elevations and barge motions, using second order developments, Molin 2002:
i = i + Z i
2 2 Z i = Z 0 + z + y i x i + 0.5 x i + y i + z i

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Fig. 4 : Gauge 5 - Amplitude Spectra in beam seas

[1]

)]

Absolute water elevations i are the free surface vertical displacements in a fixed referential (O,X,Y,Z) centred on the model at the free surface and parallel to the relative referential (o,x,y,z) defined at the centre of gravity of the model. They are derived from the elevations i measured by the gauges fixed to the model, introducing the local vertical displacement Zi of each of these sensors, placed at co-ordinates xi, yi. Vertical motion of each gauge is recomposed from heave z, roll , pitch and yaw since influence of horizontal translations can be neglected. Derivation of such absolute elevations is necessary for the evaluation of natural modes, especially those at frequencies

Absolute elevations are also relevant for the estimation of the components of the signals due to incoming waves. The example presented on Fig. 5 corresponds to a test in beam seas with long regular waves (peak frequency 0.485 Hz). As can be expected from transfer functions, at such frequency the barge heaves on with waves and there is almost no roll so that it behaves like a float and there is very little radiation. The time series recorded from one of the gauges in the moonpool shows a very small response while the absolute elevation in the bay is almost equal to the incoming wave.
Barge in beam seas Water elevations in the bay

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Fig. 5 : Relative and absolute water elevations

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Evaluation of extrema of the water elevations

with the first and second transversal modes, which have close frequencies. As for the piston mode, its detection is not straightforward because of the couplings with the motions of the barge. Anyway, since in the range of coherence it is possible to identify it from transfer functions. As shown in Fig. 7 , the response of the water elevations in the bay to heave in beam seas i is maximal at 0.93 Hz while the heave response to
z

Statistical analysis of relative elevations in the wellbay shows that there is no risk of wet deck as could first be expected. Maximum observed water elevation in the bay is only 46% of the freeboard. The highest crests are observed in rear seas. As could be expected, these maxima occur mostly along the walls of the bay. In rear seas, maxima of relative elevations along the rear bulkhead are about 50% higher than along the front one. For absolute elevations, the difference is only about 10%, showing the influence of pitch on the flow evaluation. Despite these rather small extrema, the natural modes should not be neglected. It is of great interest to go further in the spectral analysis of these responses for the influence they can have on the behaviour of the risers heads in the bay.
Spectral analysis of water elevations

incoming waves

z H

is minimal, indicating a transfer of

energy to the flow. This result is observed for all gauges


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Heave/waves Elevation/Heave

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4

Although excited either by pressure fluctuations induced at the bottom of the bay by the travelling waves or in some cases by the motions of the barge, sloshing modes are not correlated to those. Evaluation of the coherence functions between elevations in the moonpool and incoming waves (Fig. 6) shows that there is no correlation for components at frequencies above 1.25 Hz, namely for all modes with frequency higher than the 2nd longitudinal. Range of coherence with the degrees of freedom of the barge is quite the same.
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Fig. 7 : Evaluation of the piston mode in beam seas Energy of the natural modes

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It was possible to evaluate the energy of the second longitudinal natural mode and higher by summation of the power spectral densities over narrow bands centred on peak frequencies. Energy of these peaks was found rather small, only a few percents of the total energy summed over the whole spectrum. In spite of this apparent low energy level one should consider that peaks are really narrow but can correspond to a component with rather large amplitude like for instance the ones observed on gauge five in beam seas (Fig. 4). It was also observed from this evaluation that the total energy of high frequency modes is about twice as large in beam seas as it is in rear seas.
NUMERICAL MODEL

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Frequency (Hz)

Fig. 6 : Averaged coherence of elevations in the moonpool with incoming waves, heave, roll and pitch

Hence it is not possible to derive transfer functions in the usual harmonic sense for linear processes for the evaluation of the higher order modes. Anyway it is possible to identify the different sloshing modes from cross-comparisons of the peaks detected on the amplitude spectra of all the gauges located at nodal or anti-nodal points Fig. 10. Most relevant results are : Numerous sloshing modes are likely to be excited, even lightly, by usual sea-states such as those generated here. All even and odd modes, up to the tenth longitudinal and the fourth transversal were detected. Longitudinal even modes are excited in beam seas, mostly the second, fourth and eighth. These last two modes are coupled

Numerical simulations are run using a non linear time domain potential flow solver, see e.g. Ferrant, 1998. This model is based on a semi-Lagrangian formulation, combining a boundary element method (BEM) for the solution of the boundary integral equation formulation of the problem, and a time marching scheme exploiting the kinematic and dynamic boundary conditions considered as ordinary differential equations for nodal values of the free surface elevation, and of the velocity potential, respectively. The BEM is based on iso-parametric triangular elements. A piece-wise linear variation of the solution over the boundary is assumed, and collocation points are places at panel vertices. Arbitrary geometries may be accounted for, as meshes are assembled from different patches, each of which describing a sub-portion of the boundary with a continuous normal. The discretization scheme reduces the integral formulation to a linear algebraic system to be solved for the normal velocity on

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Dirichlet boundaries (free surface), and for the velocity potential on Neumann boundaries. This full, non-symmetric system is solved using a GMRES scheme with diagonal preconditioning. The time marching scheme is based on a classical fourth order Runge-Kutta method. In most applications with moderate wave steepness, the so called frozen coefficients approximation is applied, in which the influence coefficients are updated only once per time step, while four resolutions of the boundary problem are performed. The free surface mesh being a priori unstructured, local spline interpolation schemes for both the free surface elevation and the velocity potential on the free surface are applied, for the evaluation of normal vector and of the velocity at free surface panel vertices, see Ferrant 1999. In this study, the main objective was to identify the frequencies of piston and sloshing modes in the moonpool from decay tests and to illustrate three-dimensional effects. Hence, simulations were run in quasi-linear conditions; that is with very small initial deformations in the moonpool. This eliminates the need for actualising the influence coefficients at each time step. As a result, long, stable simulations were performed within reasonable computing times. Such long simulations increase the resolution of FFT calculations, for a more accurate capture of eigen frequencies from wave gauges time series. Typical decay calculations presented in this paper were obtained in about 6 hours on a 1.13 GHz laptop, for 3000 time steps, and about 4500 panels on the half domain. A vertical plane of symmetry is accounted for in the model, so that different meshes had to be used for the simulation of sloshing decay tests in longitudinal and transversal directions. In each case, the mesh comprises the moonpool free surface, the barge wetted surface and an external free surface extending to 5 m from the barge centre. Modified free surface conditions are applied in the outer zone of the external free surface for the absorption of waves emitted from the moonpool oscillations.
RESULTS

Longitudinal sloshing

Because of the symmetry relatively to the XOZ plane used on the numerical model, the only time series corresponding to the control points along the left inner freeboard and the central longitudinal axis in the moonpool are plotted. Time series of the control points are plotted in Fig.11. and 12. All the data are normalised according to the initial value of the front side control point in the bay (gauge 3 in Fig. 1). One can observe that time series of the front and rear control points are just opposite and have the largest amplitudes, while along the transversal axis in the middle, corresponding to the anti-nodal axis for the sloshing modes, the signal is very small. Slight differences are also observed between "side" and "centre" time series corresponding to 3D effects. As confirmed by Fourier analysis, modulation of time series is the result of the superimposition of components having different frequencies. These components correspond to the odd longitudinal sloshing eigen modes. Time series of the outer control points are plotted in Fig. 12. Because of the observed anti-symmetry of the front and rear signals this last one is not shown. Amplitudes of the outer signals are much smaller than those observed in the bay. The smallest signal is observed at the centre, just as in the bay. The largest amplitude is measured at the of the length of the barge, which corresponds almost to the rear of the moonpool where the maximum amplitude was observed. The energy transmitted outside the barge at this point is small, only about 1.7 % of the energy identified at the rear of the bay. Taking advantage of the properties of the Hilbert transform (Feldman 1998), it is possible to evaluate the instant frequencies of the signals. It is observed (Fig. 8) that the motion in the bay is initially driven by the first mode at 1.05 Hz and then after 20s, by the 3rd mode at 1.41 Hz, while the only transmitted mode is the first one.
Sloshing decay test Instantaneous frequencies

Time series of water elevations obtained from both experiments and numerical simulations are analysed to identify natural frequencies and energy distribution in the moonpool.
Numerical simulation of decay tests

3
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Rear Moonpool (gauge 12) 3/4 outer freeboard (gauge 15)

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Numerical simulations are carried out on a model of the barge with moonpool having the same geometry as the one tested in the wave tank. Control points have the same co-ordinates as the gauges in the moonpool and along the outer freeboard. Two different kinds of decay tests are simulated. Initial condition of the first one corresponds to a plane free surface in the moonpool tilted with a small angle around the Y-axis or the X-axis so that longitudinal or transversal sloshing motion is excited and left free to oscillate. The second simulation corresponds to a piston decay test. Free surface is initially horizontally at rest in the bay at an elevation z = zfs0 above the still outer free surface.

10

15

20 Time (s)

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Fig. 8 : Inner and outer instantaneous frequencies

Transversal sloshing In this case the initial free surface in the moonpool is a plane slightly tilted around the longitudinal axis. Because of the symmetries used in the model, front and rear control points are superimposable. Signals along the left and right freeboards of the bay are found to be anti-symmetric so that the only control points corresponding to gauges [ 5 6 8 9 11 12] are plotted (Fig. 13) and analysed. The free surface is found to remain oscillating around the longitudinal central axis

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with very little damping. The main frequency of the signal is 1.58 Hz, corresponding to the first transversal mode. It is modulated by a component of very small amplitude at 1.67 Hz. This modulation is mostly noticeable along the rear wall but also on the transversal axis at mid-bay, indicating a probable longitudinal coupling. Furthermore, the signal at mid-bay is found to be twice as energetic as the signal at the rear and 25% more energetic than the signal at of the bay. Piston Results of the piston mode simulation are plotted in Fig.14 and 15. Same considerations apply for the normalisation and the symmetry of the model as for the longitudinal sloshing case. In this case, rear and front signals are superimposable so that the front ones are not plotted. Their amplitude decreases rapidly and is almost constant after ten seconds, with just a slight modulation. The behaviour at the centre of the bay is almost the same, except that the first periods are more energetic. Finally, at the of the bay, the signal is steadily decreasing for the ten first seconds and then oscillates at a shorter period. Once again, small differences are observed between "side" and "centre" control points. Fourier analysis shows a broad peak at about 0.9 Hz, corresponding to the piston mode and narrower peaks corresponding to the even sloshing modes. One remarks the extinction of second and sixth modes at the of the bay, location of the anti-nodal axis for these periods. The outer freeboard elevations plotted in Fig. 15 show the same kind of evolution as the one observed at the of the bay. Here again, amplitudes are much smaller. Most of the transmitted energy comes from the vertical water motion in the bay. Only 5% of the energy evaluated at the centre of the bay is transmitted outside the barge at mid-length. Instant frequencies at the of the bay and at the rear are plotted in Fig. 9. At the , the motion is driven by the decreasing piston mode at 0.9 Hz, which vanishes after ten seconds. Afterwards remains the 4th longitudinal sloshing mode at 1.58 Hz. Along the rear wall of the bay, the amplitude of the vertical motion is smaller and rapidly, the flow is dominated by the second sloshing mode at about 1.23 Hz.
Piston decay test Instantaneous frequencies in the bay
3

2001). If the first one is not taken into account by the numerical model, radiation is clearly observed. A damping coefficient can be derived from Hilbert transform parameters. Damping of the piston mode at the of the bay is about 4% of the critical damping.
Identification of sloshing natural frequencies

Frequencies of natural sloshing modes are identified from spectral analysis of numerical decay tests and experiments in irregular waves. Comparison is made with theoretical values calculated using the analytical formulation given in Molin, 2001. Agreement is fairly good since relative variation between measurement and theory is about 1% for the high frequency modes (2nd longitudinal sloshing mode and higher and transversal modes). The variation is about 3% for the 4th longitudinal and 1st transversal modes but it is pointed out that the slight frequency difference between these two values, due to the ratio of the length of the moonpool to the total length of the barge and the width of the moonpool to the beam is identified from power spectral densities. As for the results from the numerical simulations, odd eigen modes frequencies were obtained from the piston decay test and even ones from the sloshing decay. Maximum variation with analytical value, only 3.6%, is observed for the two first modes, other variations being about 1% to 2% so that natural modes are fairly well predicted again.
Natural Frequency (Hz) Theory Numerical Measurement Natural Frequency (Hz) Theory Numerical Measurement 1st 1.008 1.055 1.045 5th 1.726 1.759 1.739 2 nd 1.190 1.233 1.205 6th 1.883 1.905 1.889 3rd 1.379 1.4107 1.395 7th 2.029 2.076 2.045 4th 1.558 1.589 1.592 8th 2.167 2.19 2.181

Table 1 : Frequencies of longitudinal sloshing modes

It is observed that some of these high order natural frequencies are in the range of the evaluated energetic responses of the risers to be deployed in the well-bay (Fontaine & al., 2003).
Natural Frequency (Hz) Theory Measurement 1st 1.562 1.622 2 nd 2.167 2.1809 3rd 2.61 2.675 4th 3.061 3.088

2.5

3/4 Moonpool (gauge 9) Rear Moonpool (gauge 12)

Hz

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0.5

Table 2 : Frequencies of transversal sloshing modes


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20 Time (s)
25

0 0

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35

Fig.9 : Piston mode Instantaneous frequencies in the moonpool

The only transversal frequency evaluated from the numerical simulation corresponds to the first mode at 1.582 Hz.
Identification of the piston mode natural frequency

Damping of the water motion in the moonpool is the result of both vortex shedding along the keel at the bottom of the bay and wave radiation outside of the barge (Maisondieu & al,

Evaluation of the frequency of the piston mode from spectral analysis of experimental data is not straightforward because of

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the coupling with the motions of the barge. Anyway, a peak was observed at 0.92 Hz on water elevations spectra, mostly in beam seas, associated with a decrease in the heave response of the barge. Fourier analysis of the numerical piston simulation shows a response at 0.9 Hz. Both results are quite different from the analytical value, 0.798 Hz. One has to remember that this analytical solution was evaluated with the assumption made of a barge with infinite length and beam. Therefore, the added mass of the piston mode is overestimated and its natural period as well. In order to assess the validity of the results, a simulation was run considering the same geometry of the moonpool on a barge with overall dimensions large enough to be considered infinite. Analysis of the time series in Fig. 16 shows that there is in this case almost one only component corresponding to the vertical motion at frequency 0.785 Hz. All series oscillate in phase with just little fluctuations due to a small amplitude second sloshing mode component and there is almost no damping. The variation with the analytical value of the natural frequency is only 1.6% confirming both validity of the numerical model and limitations of the infinite barge assumptions.
CONCLUSIONS

P. Ferrant, Seakeeping Simulations in Non Linear Waves, Proc. 7th Int. Conference on Numerical Ship Hydrodynamics, NSH7, Nantes, July 1999. E. Fontaine, J.P. Morel, G. Damy, M. Repecaud, Y Stassen, B. Molin, E. De Langre, VIV on risers with top-tensioning buoyancycans. Part 1: Numerical Modelling and simplified analysis, Proc. of 13 th ISOPE conference, Honolulu, 2003. C. Maisondieu & M. Le Boulluec, Flow dynamics in a moon-pool: Experimental and numerical assessment, Proc OMAE2001 Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2001. C. Maisondieu, B. Molin, O. Kimmoun, L. Gentaz, Simulation bidimensionnelle des coulements dans une baie de forage. Etude des modes de rsonance et des amortissements 2D flow simulation in a moonpool. Natural modes and damping evaluation. Proc. 8mes Journes de l' Hydrodynamique, pp. 251 264, Nantes, 2001. B. Molin, On the piston and sloshing modes in moonpools, J. Fluid Mech., 430, pp. 27-50, 2001. B. Molin, Hydrodynamique des structures offshore, Guide pratique sur les ouvrages en mer. Clarom. Ed. Technip, ISBN 2-7108-0815-3, 2002
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Dynamics of the flow in a moonpool was investigated through analysis of experimental data and numerical simulations carried out using a time domain potential flow solver. Spectral analysis of absolute elevations in the bay showed that not only the vertical and first sloshing modes are excited but also all higher frequency modes, even those out of the range of incoming waves. On top of this non-linear behaviour, the flow was found to be three-dimensional. In spite of their relatively small amplitudes, existence of these modes should be taken into account for the evaluation of the dynamics of the risers in the wellbay. Numerical simulations of extinction tests of piston and sloshing modes allowed the estimation of the moonpool natural frequencies. A good agreement was found between experimental, numerical and analytical results.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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Experimental data presented in this paper result from a research and development program initiated by Bouygues offshore and in partnership with TotalFinaElf, Institut Franais du Ptrole, Sedco Forex, Ecole Suprieure dIngnieurs de Marseille, Principia and Ifremer.
REFERENCES

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M. Feldman, Non-linear system vibration analysis using Hilbert transform -- II. Forced vibration analysis method "FORCEVIB"., Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 1994, 8(3), pp. 309-318 P. Ferrant, Fully Non-Linear Interactions of Long-Crested Wave Packets with a Three -Dimensional Body, Proc. 22nd ONR Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Washington, ISBN 0 309 06537 2, pp 403-415, august 1998

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Fig 12 : Longitudinal sloshing numerical simulation (outer gauges)

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Fig. 14 : Piston numerical simulation (moonpool)

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Time series
0.05 0.2
0
front middle 3/4

FFT
front middle 3/4

0.2
0
5
10
15

20

25

30

0
0
0.5
1
1.5

2.5

3.5

Time (s)
Fig. 15 : Piston numerical simulation (outer gauges)

Frequency (Hz)

Time series
1

FFT
1

middle

0
1

side centre

0.5
0

side centre

0
1

10

15

20

25

30

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

3/4

0
1

side centre

0.5
0

side centre

0
1

10

15

20

25

30

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

rear

0
1

side centre

0.5
0

side centre

10

15

20

25

30

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

Time (s)
Fig. 16 : Piston numerical simulation on an infinite barge (moonpool)

Frequency (Hz) (s)

500