Rigid moorings in shallow water: A wave power application. Part I: Experimental verification of methods
Journal article, 2009
Experimental work carried out at 1:60 scale in a wave flume assessed the pitch motion and anchor loading of 3 articulated tower installations in 50 m water depth while being exposed to north Atlantic storms with Hs of 15.2 m and Tp of 18.4 s. The three installations differ only in that their mass and buoyancy characteristics provide a natural period in pitch at equilibrium of 13 s, 20 s and 34 s respectively. It is verified that the dominant behaviour can be simulated by a relatively simple mathematical model, allowing the critical parameters of peak anchor loads and pitch angles to be calculated and extrapolated to full scale. It is demonstrated from the experimental and simulation results that the mass characteristics of a non surface piercing tower can be used to offset some of the challenges of moving to shallow water. If done correctly, it is possible to keep horizontal anchor loads under control and reduce vortex-induced transverse loading at the expense of increased pitch motions. Overall, the use of articulated tower installations in water depths of 50 m would appear to be technically feasible, even in exposed areas. The limitations on the size of such structures and the consequences of the resulting pitch accelerations and induced anchor loads are the subject of further study. It is proposed that the model verified herein can be used to further assess their potential at delivering viable wave power position mooring systems.