Understanding the force motion trade off of rigid and hinged floating platforms for marine renewables.
Keywords:Floating marine renewables, Very large floating structure, Floating offshore renewables, Hinged platforms
In this work, we compare the motion and structural response of a rigid and hinged floating structure subject to regular waves. We do this to understand better whether what is the best option for floating marine renewable installations. The hinged structure has two hinges and three pontoons, whilst the rigid structure is made by replacing the hinges with rigid steel bars. We instrument the pontoons with motion detection spheres and with strain gauges to measure vertical point loads. We find that the motion response of the platforms is similar between hinged and rigid at low and high frequencies. However, at intermediate frequency waves, single and triple sagging occur for rigid and hinged structures, respectively. We find significant load alleviation for the hinged structure in the range of frequencies where sagging behaviour occurs. These insights reveal that hinged design can contribute to long term survivability by reducing loads in the structure, whilst identification of motion patterns and natural frequencies are necessary to select operating modes for marine renewable generators mounted on the platforms.
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